Germany is shaping up to be the comedy battleground this upcomingweekend as Fox International's Cheaper By The Dozen goes up against Buena Vista International's(BVI) Starsky & Hutch.
Cheaper By The Dozen opens on a wide 605 prints and executives will be looking tobuild on the comedy's $40m international running total.
Starsky & Hutch, meanwhile, is still in the early stages of release and has taken$8.7m to date, mostly from its superb wide expansion in the UK last weekend. Itshould have the muscle to push Cheaper all the way and may well finish top.
Elsewhere, Fox International opens The Passion Of The Christ in a raft of smaller Latin Americanmarkets including Argentina on 100 prints on Mar 25 and Venezuela on 55 on Mar26.
Mel Gibson's religious epic has taken $12.6m to date from Foxmarkets and should set several market records considering the number of Fox andindustry benchmarks that were passed last weekend.
Passionalso opens in Taiwan on 32 prints on Mar 27 and will open in Korea on Apr 2.
The distributor opens the London-set family comedy Agent CodyBanks 2 in the UK on 250prints on Mar 26, where it faces a challenge to knock Starsky & Hutch off its top berth.
Agent Cody Banks 2 certainly shouldn't embarrass itself bearing in mind that theoriginal opened in sixth place on $864,443 in July 2003, when Hulk was top in its second weekend and BruceAlmighty and Charlie'sAngels: Full Throttlewere enjoying strong runs in second and third respectively.
BVI opens its global hit Brother Bear in Spain on Mar 26. The animated titlehas amassed more than $200m at the worldwide box office and seems assured of astrong debut considering its trailblazing recent run through Europe. Itsinternational cumulative total stands at $116.3m.
The desert horserace romp Hidalgo opened in France on May 24 and in Swedenon Mar 26 and has taken $7m to date.
The Haunted Mansion went out in Australia on Mar 25 and opens in Italy on Mar 26. Ithas grossed $60m from all its markets.
Calendar Girls opens in Mexico on Mar 26 and has grossed $61.6m from all ismarkets to date.
Universal's hit romantic comedy Along Came Polly has no major openings this weekend butexecutives are relying on strong holdover business through UIP to boost its$53.1m running total (as of Mar 22).
The dance drama Honey opens in Spain and Korea on Mar 26 to build on its total gross of$18.3m as of Mar 22. Ned Kelly opens in Mexico, day-and-date with the US, on Mar 26.
Warner Bros Pictures International opens the hit romantic comedy Something's Gotta Give in Japan on Mar 27. The picture has grossed $113.5m from its international markets to date.
Looney Tunes: Back In Action goes out in Japan on the same day and has amassed $46.2m so far.
Latest figures released by the distributor put The Last Samurai on $339.8m, Mystic River on $63.4m and Torque on $19.7m.
Paramount opens the comedy School Of Rock in France through UIP on Mar 24 and thedrama Beyond Bordersin Brazil on Mar 26.
New Line's TheLord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King has no major openings left but should rely on strongholdovers to build on its staggering $710.8m international running total.