Three franchises whose previous installments each enjoyed $200m-$500m global box-office are also pitching into the sequel-heavy summer.

Warner's Ocean's Thirteen will be the first entry in its crime-caper series to open in the summer (Ocean's Eleven and Ocean's Twelve, both pre-Christmas domestic releases, grossed $450.7m and $362.7m worldwide respectively) and Warner executives believe the film has the right story and cast for summer success.

'It brings the franchise back to where it's had its greatest success, which is in Las Vegas,' says Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros Pictures. And returning stars George Clooney, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt are now 'bigger than they've ever been before', Fellman adds.

With Al Pacino joining the cast and Steven Soderbergh once again directing, the film opens in the US on June 8 and goes day-and-date in around 65% of international markets.

Fox's Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer arrives in the US on June 15 with its four main stars back in action for returning director Tim Story and a new, effects-heavy title character.

Because the first film - which opened in July 2005 and grossed $154.7m domestically and $175.4m internationally - played better to a younger audience internationally than in the US, Fox International is opening the sequel day-and-date in some markets but waiting until July and August school holidays in others. 'It's a bigger, much more expensive film this time round,' reports Fox International co-president Tomas Jegeus.

The question facing Jason Bourne
Universal's The Bourne Ultimatum opens in the US on August 3, slightly later in the summer than 2004's The Bourne Supremacy (which made $121.7m domestically and $92.3m internationally) and nearly two months later than 2002's The Bourne Identity ($176.2m domestically, $112.3m internationally).

With Matt Damon and his co-stars returning and United 93 director Paul Greengrass once again behind the camera, The Bourne Ultimatum may show whether the franchise is nearing its natural end or becoming a long-running summer staple.

'We have always rolled it out internationally through August and into September and will do a massive tour with Matt Damon across several territories,' says David Kosse, president of Universal Pictures International. 'The franchise is growing dramatically ... and we think the third one is going to be by far the biggest for us.'