The latest entry in Disney’s Pirates canon reached the milestone on Wednesday [22] and is bearing down on $1bn worldwide. Disney stablemate Cars 2 from Pixar revs up for the first wave of international markets.

Figures from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through the end of Thursday [23] put Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides at $742.9m overseas, $967.3m worldwide and $224.4m in North America.

By adventure overtook the $742.1m marker set down by The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King in 2004 on Wednesday [22] to secure its place as the third biggest international release in history.

Only Titanic and Avatar rank higher, hardly a disgrace given that they finished on $1.242bn and $2.022bn, respectively.

Pirates 4 has held well throughout its relatively short career and needs a solid sixth session to propel it towards the rarified heights of the Billion Dollar Club. The film may cross the milestone this weekend but is more likely to do so next week.

It looks a safe bet to finish on more than $974.7m by the end of the weekend, overhauling the global tally of 2001 release Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone to rank eighth in the pantheon.

The weekend box office crown may well go to Cars 2, however, as the world awaits the latest Pixar invasion.

The sequel opens day-and-date with North America in Australia, Russia, Mexico, Brazil and Italy and is scheduled to arrive in the UK on Jul 22.

However if Cars 2 is to rule the roost it will have to contend with DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2. The film has been on fire over the past two weekends and stands at $297.6m through PPI.

Projected strong holds and an Australian debut will help the panda soar past the $300m mark in the next day or two. Super 8 opens in Japan and stands at an early $25.3m.

Warner Bros Pictures International’s Green Lantern enters its second weekend on $21.8m and there are no new markets. The Hangover Part II stands at $266m and opens in Spain.

Universal’s comedy Bridesmaids stands at $9.8m through UPI and there could be a big weekend in store as it arrives in the UK, Russia and South Africa.

Honey 2 opens in Switzerland and French-speaking Switzerland, Paul debuts in Sweden and The Dilemma arrives in Mexico.

Sony Pictures Releasing International’s R-rated Cameron Diaz comedy Bad Teacher opens in around 25 markets including German-speaking Europe and Scandinavia.

Fox International’s X-Men: First Class has amassed at least $165.7m and opens this weekend in Vietnam Mr Popper’s Penguins embarks on its first major wave, opening in 12 including Germany, Switzerland and Austria. MGM’s Hot Tub Time Machine opens in Italy and Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son opens in Taiwan.