This weekend the world will enter a new world as Fox International unleashes Avatar day-and-date with North America in 106 territories.

Few films arrive surrounded with as much anticipation as James Cameron’s 3D epic sci-fi adventure and Fox executives will be seeking to capitalise on the positive early word to make a killing in the first weekend and should cross the $2bn mark in overseas ticket sales by the end of next week if not before.

Cameron’s long-gestating opus will play on a total of 17,163 international screens, 5,354 of them 3D, of which 81 are IMAX 3D. Avatar arrives on 13,737 screens in the day-and-date territories, of which 3,935 are 3D, 60 of them on IMAX.

Results are certain to be strong virtually everywhere, with the major numbers coming from France on December 16, followed a day later by Germany, Russia, Mexico, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Holland, Hong Kong, Switzerland and Thailand.

Avatar touches down on December 18 in the UK, Spain, Brazil, Sweden, Taiwan, Austria and India. It opens in Japan opens next weekend and in China in January

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International’s The Princess And The Frog has got off to a promising start and stands at more than $7.5m. Expect the running total to ease past $10m this weekend on the back of a launch in Italy.

Beyond that, the 2D animation is scheduled to open in Russia on December 31 and will roll out across the rest of the world in the New Year.

A Christmas Carol has grossed more than $150m and should register another solid weekend, while Old Dogs and Up stand at more than $402m and $13m, respectively.

Summit International’s New Moon, the champion for the past several weekends, has grossed more than $362m and should have enough left in the tank to cross $375m this weekend.

Sony Pictures Releasing International’s 2012 is another magnificent overseas performer, having grossed more than $556m, and $570m within its sights this weekend.

IM Global’s micro-budget smash Paranormal Activity added a further $6.6m last weekend and to date has amassed more than $44m.

Warner Bros Pictures International’s German hit Zweiohrkuken stands at $24m from three German-speaking territories ($21m in Germany), while Ninja Assassin has reached $18.2m and The Informant! stands at $9.7m.

This weekend, PPI opens Broken Embraces in Australia and UPI launches Nikte in Mexico.