Japan's Toei sold Battle Royale II, the follow-up to the controversial 2000 dystopian thriller, to eight European territories at Cannes.

In addition to sales to the three Scandinavian countries, the three Benelux countries and Iceland, Toei concluded deals for the UK, Germany, Russia, Hong Kong and Thailand. "All we had was a seven-minute digest of the film," said Toei sales rep Tad Okubo. "It's extremely unusual to do so much business with so little to show."

The original film, directed by Kinji Fukasaku, was given an R-15 rating for violent content, and while many critics and parliamentarians raged against the on-screen slaughter, the film earned $27m from 2.15 million admissions following its December 2000 release.

The new film, directed by Fukasaku's son Kenta, is set for a July 7 release and is widely expected to be the biggest Japanese film of the summer.

It has also been given a R-15 rating, usually considered a kiss of box office death for teen-targeted films. For BRII, however, it is more like a badge of honour.