Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted becomes the latest big summer contender to enter the crowded international arena this weekend, opening in six major territories and 22 smaller markets at the same time as it launches in North America.

The DreamWorks-produced animated romp arrived in France and Korea on Wednesday (June 6) and Russia on Thursday (June 7), with Paramount Pictures International (PPI) distributing. PPI opens the film in Brazil, China and Mexico on Friday (June 8).

The sequel will have some big numbers to live up to: the original Madagascar took $339.1m internationally in 2005 and the second film grossed $423.9m outside North America in 2008.

Fox International’s Prometheus expands into Australia (on Thursday), South Korea (on Friday) and 33 smaller markets this weekend, which also sees the sci-fi epic’s launch in North America.

Having opened early in 15 territories last weekend, the film had by Tuesday (June 5) amassed an international gross of $46.1m.

Snow White and the Huntsman, which last weekend opened in 35 international markets as well as North America, goes into eight smaller European markets this weekend. As of Thursday the fantasy had taken $54.9m internationally, according to Universal Pictures International (UPI).

Last weekend’s international leader Men in Black 3, from Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI), adds only Sri Lanka to its orbit this week. But with $426.9m - $307.5m from international and $119.4m from North America - grossed as of Thursday the film is expected to beat the final worldwide tally of Men in Black II, which ended up with $441.7m, by Friday or Saturday. (The original Men in Black grossed $589.4m worldwide.)

SPRI opened 21 Jump Street (which had taken $54.3m internationally by the end of last weekend) in France on Wednesday and launches The Vow (with $67m internationally as of the weekend) in Brazil on Friday.

Fox International also releases The Big Year in Spain on Friday and We Bought a Zoo (with $39.4m from international as of Tuesday) in Italy and Japan on the same day.

Also on Friday, UPI gives local production A Fantastic Fear of Everything its world debut in the UK. The studio reported international totals as of Thursday of $171m for American Pie Reunion, $235.2m for Battleship and $97.3m for Dr Seuss’ The Lorax.

PPI launches British film Ill Manors in its home territory on Friday.