Angels & Demons swoops into the global marketplace this weekend, opening, almost exactly three years after predecessor The Da Vinci Code, in 96 international markets as well as North America.

Employing the same kind of day-and-date strategy it used in May 2006 on Da Vinci, Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) is putting out 10,463 prints of the science-versus-religion thriller, which reunites Tom Hanks with director Ron Howard.

Angels & Demons opened on Wednesday (May 13) in France (with 800 prints), Germany (with 1,200) and Italy (with 825). On Thursday (May 14) it arrived in Australia (440 prints), Korea (450 prints), Russia (700 prints) and the UK (875). Major-territory openings on Friday (May 15) are in Japan (740) and Spain (700 prints).

Whether Angels & Demons can match Da Vinci’s impressive international opening weekend take of $155m - at the time the biggest international day-and-date opening ever — remains to be seen. Although the film shares similar themes, an equally glamourous international location (this time Rome) and the same central character as Da Vinci, it has been better received by critics.

However, Da Vinci also came from a better known novel and benefited from a high profile Cannes Festival launch. It also went day-and-date in two more major territories than Angels - Mexico and China - for a total international screen count of 12,200. It went on to gross $540.7m internationally, and $217.5m domestically.

Other international openings are few and far between this weekend:

  • Paramount Pictures International is launching Star Trek, which made its chart-topping international debut last weekend, in China on Friday, with 753 prints. As of Thursday the sci-fi franchise reboot had amassed more than $46m internationally.
  • Warner Bros Pictures International opened New Line’s 17 Again on Thursday in Germany (with 230 prints). With $42.9m already in hand from international openings, the comedy arrives in Italy on Friday and Japan on Saturday. Warner also launched Observe and Report in Australia on Thursday (with 130 prints).
  • Universal Pictures International (UPI) gives two titles their first international airings this weekend. Bare knuckle brawling drama Fighting hit Spain on Thursday (with 150 prints) and lands in the UK on Friday (with 300), while acclaimed immigration drama Sin Nombre opens with 200 prints in Mexico on Friday.
  • UPI’s chiller remake The Last House On The Left opened in Germany on Thursday with 150 prints, after having grossed $925,708 internationally so far.
  • Fox International launched comedy drama Choke - with $835,000 from international so far — in Italy on Wednesday with 11 prints.
  • Updated international grosses reported by Fox this week include $129.5m for X Men Origins: Wolverine, $74.6m for Taken, $219.5m for Slumdog Millionaire, $99.6m for Marley and Me and $157.9m for Australia.
  • Warner reported a $110.6m international tally to date for Gran Torino and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International said Hannah Montana The Movie has reached $20.4m outside the US.