Fox International's Elektra begins its international assault in earnest with debuts inthe UK, Mexico, Brazil and South Korea on Jan 21 on 350, 350, 176 and 81screens respectively.

The comic book adaptation has taken $2.3m from the earlystages of its run and executives will be hoping for stronger returns than thoseposted in last weekend's disappointing North American opening.

Elektracould do well, bearing in mind that Daredevil, the Fox picture that spawned thisJennifer Garner spin-off, opened top in Mexico in March 2003 on $2.7m on 689screens, and second in the UK in February 2003 on $3.2m in 384 theatres.

Latest information issued by Fox International executives put thecomedies Melinda And Melinda (directed by Woody Allen) and Taxi on respective $8.1m and $24.7m runningtotals.

Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) opens Closer in Brazil and Spain on Jan 21 followingthe drama's debut in France on Jan 19.

Mike Nichols' stage adaptation is a hot property after winning twosupporting actor Golden Globe awards last weekend, and has already amassed$13.7m from the early stages of its run.

Last weekend's $3.1m and $2.3m number one launches in the UK andGermany are the obvious highlights so far, and SPRI executives will be lookingto continue in the same rich vein.

The martial arts hit Kung Fu Hustle, which will play at this week's SundanceFilm Festival in Utah, has no major openings scheduled for this weekend, andhas taken $52.7m to date.

Buena Vista International (BVI) opened The Aviator in Germany on Jan 20. Martin Scorsese's lavishHoward Hughes biopic won three Globes last weekend including best drama andbest dramatic actor for Leonardo DiCaprio and has grossed $6.5m in the UK todate.

National Treasure currently stands on a $120m international running total and TheIncredibles is on $336m.

Alexanderis scheduled to open through Warner Bros Pictures International in Australiaand New Zealand on Jan 20. Oliver Stone's historical extravaganza has nowgrossed more than $17.2m through the distributor and more than $89m through alloverseas distributors.

Also for Warner, Ocean's Twelve has grossed $154.4m, while A VeryLong Engagement hastaken $39.1m and opens in the UK on Jan 21. The Polar Express stands at $113m internationally.

DreamWorks International's Lemony Snicket's A Series OfUnfortunate Events opensthrough UIP in Brazil on Jan 21 and Taiwan a day later. The picture has grossedmore than $47m to date.

Universal's Ray goes out in a raft of markets including the UK and Italy on Jan21 and UIP top brass expect strong debuts on the back of Jamie Foxx's GoldenGlobe win for best actor in a musical or comedy. and his confirmed frontrunner status for the Oscars.

Taylor Hackford's portrayal of the late Ray Charles has taken$2.1m from the early stages of its international run so far, $1.9m of thatcoming from Germany.