Sony's Spider-Man 2 launched its international run with a powerful $43m haul from morethan 28 territories at the weekend, fuelled by a spectacular Asian blitz thatdefied a typhoon and beat all-time records in seven out of eight markets.

All in all the sequel brokeopening records in 12 markets and set the pace for the second wave of launchesthrough Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International in Japan and Europe,now that the Euro 2004 football championships are over.

Spider-Man 2 took $6.6m on a widest ever 873 prints in Mexico, which ranks asthe third biggest opening of all time and came in at 10% less than theoriginal. It claimed 65% market share and is expected to build strongly asschools go into a month-long recess today (5).

Brazil produced $3.1m for thebiggest opening of all time on a record 650 prints, claiming 62% market shareand beating Spider-Man's opening weekendby 22%. Month-long school holidays also begin there today.

In the only Asian market that did not produce an all-time openingrecord, Spider-Man 2 took$5.6m on 292 prints in Korea, doubling the original's opening weekend score inlocal currency.

ThePhilippines yielded an extraordinary $2.4m on 65 and produced five recordsingle day grosses from Wednesday through to Sunday inclusive. The sequel isexpected to pass Spider-Man'slifetime gross in its first week.

Spider-Man 2 grossed $2m on 70 in Hong Kong (including Wednesday previews),and $1.9m on 197 in Thailand for 86% market share and the biggest ever Saturdayand Sunday there.

In Taiwan the webslinger defied Typhoon Mindulle to gross $1.8m on21 and a superb $86,000 per-screen average, beating Spider-Man's opening weekend result by 60%.

Singapore yielded $1.5m on 58, the biggest Saturday ever and 84%market share, while Malaysia produced $1.3m on 67 and beat the previous biggestopener Godzilla by2%.

Indonesia produced $576,000 from 42 and beat Spider-Man, which was the previous record holder,by 26%.

Spider-Man 2 grossed $3.3m on a widest ever 322 prints in Russia for theseventh biggest opening ever there, taking 250% more than the original.

Australia produced $6m on 441 and CTFDI executives expect strongfollow-ups with three weeks of school holidays remaining.

Apart from the Mexican and Brazilian bows there were other strongperformers in Latin America at the weekend. Spider-Man 2 opened on an all-time high of $1.2m on118 in Central America, beating the original by 34%.

Colombia produced $914,000 including previews on 100 prints for anall-time record bow, while $635,000 on 44 in Peru was good enough for thebiggest opening of all time there.

Argentina produced $686,000 on 155 for the sixth biggest bow ever,as Chile yielded $542,000 on 86 for the eighth biggest bow, Ecuador produced$221,000 on 24 for the second biggest opening and Venezuela's $330,000 on 94was the sixth biggest opening of all time there.

Spider-Man 2 scored fourth biggest ever bows in Bolivia and Uruguay andgrossed $588,000 on 25 in the United Arab Emirates for the second biggest everbow, beating Spider-Man'sopening weekend by 29% but still not as big as The Passion Of The Christ.