The value of the international marketplace was hammered homeduring day two of exhibition trade show Cinema Expo in Amsterdam yesterday, asresearch company Nielsen EDI handed out its annual International Gold ReelAwards, for films that grossed over $100m internationally in the 12 monthssince the last edition of Cinema Expo.

During a lunch held at the event, 21 Gold Reel awards werehanded out and a succession of grateful distribution chiefs hit the stage tothank exhibitors for their part in the successes.

Buena Vista International took home five awards, with Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of TheBlack Pearl, Finding Nemo, Bruce Almighty, Brother Bear and Haunted Mansion grossing over a billiondollars combined at the international box office.

Significantly, Haunted Mansion was a bigger hit internationally than domestically. "Therewasn't a lot of confidence after its US release, but it went on to take $106minternationally," said BVI president Mark Zoradi. With $348minternationally, Pirates Of The Caribbeanhas become BVI's biggest ever live action release: Orlando Bloom delivered avideo message praising the "expertise" of the company.

Andrew Cripps, president and COO of United InternationalPictutres (UIP) picked up four awards: for Love Actually, American Wedding,Hulk and 2 Fast 2 Furious. Love Actually director Richard Curtisdelivered a customarily tongue-in-cheek message via tape, thanking exhibitorsand making quips about Hugh Grant's age.

The three films that Columbia TriStar Film DistributorsInternational took home Gold Reel awards for were all sequels - T3: Rise Of The Machines ($283m), Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle ($158m)and Bad Boys 2 ($134m).

Mark Zucker, CTFDI's senior executive vice president ofdistribution, was on stage to collect the awards.

Warner Bros scored three, for The Last Samurai, The Matrix Revolutions and Something's Gotta Give, while Icon Film Distribution's CEO NickHill was on hand to accept the company's first Golden Reel for The Passion Of The Christ. Mel Gibson supplieda video message claiming that "for all the people in this biz, I've alwayshad a soft spot for cinema operators" and went on to thank Europeandistributors of The Passion,name-checking Eagle Pictures in Italy, Aurum in Spain, Monolioth in Poland andQuinta Communications in France. "Thanks for your support on thismovie," he told exhibitors. "I can now afford to take my family toEuroDisney."

Miramax's senior vice president of distribution and head ofsales Mark Lindsay was on hand to pick up the company's awards for Kill Bill Vol 2, Scary Movie 3, andproducer Laurence Bender delivered a videoed message.

San Fu Maltha, head of Dutch Lord Of The Rings distributor A-Film picked up the New Line awardfor The Return Of The King, whichtook $1.1bn worldwide, $740m of which was from international.

Fox International scored two Golden Reels, for The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemenand Master And Commander, both ofwhich did better internationally than in the US.

"These really are the movies that drive internationalexhibition and prove that the world is still hungry for blockbusters, and thataudiences have broader tastes than they are sometimes given credit for,"said Nielsen Entertainment International president Nick King.

The figure of 21 films grossing over $100m in the last 12months is just one down from last year's tally, but down from 28 titles in2002.

On day two of the event, delegates watched a screening ofSteven Spielberg's The Terminal -where producer and DreamWorks production co-chief Walter Parkes confirmed thatthe film would be visiting the Venice and Tokyo film festivals - as well as a20th Century Fox product reel and a screening of Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, which last weekend grossed $30.1mat the US box office.