Surprise US hit Dodgeball launches in its first majorinternational territories this weekend and Fox International will be hopingthat star Ben Stiller - whose Starsky & Hutch is now coming to theend of its better-than-expected international run - can drive the film to astrong international total.
Dodgeball's broad comedy resulted in a $113m US gross,making the film Stiller's biggest hit since 2000's Meet The Parents. AndParents almost matched its $166.2m domestic take with a powerful $164.2minternational run.
Dodgeball opens on Aug 27 in the UK, with 325 printsgoing out over the holiday weekend. The film hits Mexico on the same day with200 prints.
Fox introduced another surprise success, Garfield, toRussia on Aug 26 with 185 prints. On the heels of its $74.4m US run, thenewspaper comic strip adaptation (which also opens this weekend in Norway) hasso far grossed a healthy $52.9m from international markets.
Other Fox launches are The Girl Next Door, which went outwith 130 prints in Australia on Aug 26 and has grossed $9.8m from itsinternational run to date.
Buena Vista International (BVI) opens Miramax's Starsky &Hutch in Italy, one of its last big markets, on Aug 27, with 350 prints.The 1970s TV take-off, which made $88.2m in the US, has so far grossed $73.8minternationally, an impressive figure given that the original TV show was bestknown in the States.
For the UK holiday weekend, BVI opens Raising Helen with300 prints. The launch gives the Kate Hudson comedy one of its last remainingchances to bump up its $9.9m international total.
BVI's The Village opens in a trio of smaller territoriesthis weekend. The distributor's King Arthur has no launches this week,but with territories including South Africa, Brazil and Italy still to come,the Jerry Bruckheimer epic should have no trouble breaking the $100m barrier(its current total is $95m from 67 territories) and will soon have more thandoubled its disappointing US gross of $51m.
Universal was looking to build on early results from The BourneSupremacy with the international spy thriller's Aug 26 release through UIPon 300 Australian screens. The sequel has so far grossed $15.6m from fiveterritories.
The Chronicles Of Riddick, another Universalsequel handled in most territories by UIP, could make the most of the UKholiday with its Aug 27 launch on 408 screens. Also opening this weekend inSpain on 227 screens, the sci-fi thriller has so far grossed $26.3minternationally.
UIP's other launches are the Paramount comedy Mean Girls,which has grossed $27.1m so far outside the US and opens this weekend inGermany and Italy, and DreamWorks' noir thriller Collateral, which opensin Brazil. With Tom Cruise headlining, Collateral has so far amassed $5mfrom territories including Singapore, Mexico and Argentina.
Warner Bros International's Catwoman lands in another majorterritory this weekend, opening in Italy on Aug 27. The Batman spin-offstarring Halle Berry has so far grossed $16.9m.
Warner's latest international blockbusters have no new openingsthis week but Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban has now increasedits overseas total to $516.6m, while Troy has edged up to $358m.
In Japan, Warner's local distribution operation launches Hero 2,sequel to Zhang Yimou's acclaimed Chinese action film, on Aug 28. Last year Hero,which Warner also handled in Japan, grossed Yen 4.1bn in the territory.
Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International gives Anacondas:The Hunt For The Blood Orchid its first international launches thisweekend, day-and-date with the film's US debut. The action sequel opens inMexico and several smaller territories.