Comic book adaptation FantasticFour starts its international rollout this weekend day-and-date with its USopening, launching in four major markets as well as a slew of smallercountries.
And War of Worlds islooking to build on its powerful international debut with openings in two moremajor territories.
Fox International opens FantasticFour, the movie version of Marvel Comics' longest running superhero series,on July 7 in Australia (with 303 prints), on July 8 in Mexico (700 prints) andBrazil (380 prints), on July 9 in Taiwan (150 prints), and over the course ofthe weekend in 11 smaller territories.
Fox, which gives the movie its US debuton Friday, is hoping that a strong first day in the Philippines -- where thefilm opened on Wednesday and is expected to top the weekend chart -- bodes wellfor the major-market launches.
Fantastic Four will,however, have competition Down Under from the weekend's only otherinternational debutant. Sony Pictures International Releasing (SPRI) opens Bewitched,the romantic comedy starring local girl Nicole Kidman, in Australia, its firstinternational market, on July 7 with 289 prints.
Both films, of course, will becompeting with War of the Worlds, which blasted into 78 territories lastweekend and has so far grossed $133m internationally.
UIP opened theParamount/DreamWorks co-production on Wednesday (July 6) at 720 locations inFrance and achieved a first-day gross of $2.5m, the biggest ever for thedistributor, star Tom Cruise and director Steven Spielberg. The film opened thesame day at 86 locations in Belgium and grossed $375,000 (including previews),another record for star and director.
War of the Worlds opens inKorea today (July 7) with 270 prints and in five smaller territories during theremainder of the weekend.
With one notable exception, theinternational marketplace's other big holdovers are expanding only into smallerterritories this weekend.
After grossing more than $7.5mfrom previews last week, Fox International's Star Wars: Episode III -Revenge of the Sith gets its official, 750-print launch in Japan on July 9.Expectations are high that the film, like earlier Star Wars installments, willperform well in the territory and add significantly to an international totalof $380.7m.
Elsewhere in Asia, FoxInternational gives Mr & Mrs Smith, which as of July 3 had grossed$121.6m from all international territories, a 250-print launch in China on July9.
UIP's Madagascar, whosecumulative international gross is $87m, opens this weekend in Switzerland,Argentina, Chile, Peru and Panama. And the distributor gives Alfie alimited release in Japan and Coach Carter a launch in Taiwan.
Warner Bros Pictures Internationalopens Batman Begins (whose international total as of July 6 was $119.1m)on July 8 in Romania and House of Wax (international total - $26.9m) onJuly 8 in Spain and Turkey.
Buena Vista International expands Herbie:Fully Loaded (which has so far grossed $4.8m from two internationalterritories) to Holland on July 6 and Argentina on July 7. BVI also opens ALot Like Love on July 7 in Portugal and on July 8 in Greece and Spain.
Fox International launches Flightof the Phoenix (international total - $11.9m) with 40 prints in Germany onJuly 7.
And SPRI releases The LongestYard (international total - $10.2m) on July 7 with 51 prints in New Zealandand Man of the House (international total - $1.3m) on July 8 with 21prints in Spain.