Every fan of the franchise knows it's not in Harry Potter's nature to be a bully, but the film version of his exploits is a different beast entirely and has been swatting rivals like flies since it was released around the world last week.

The fifth episode in the fantasy series, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, stands at $254m and will soar past $300m -- it might even cross $350m -- following last weekend's spellbinding launch. Weekend business will be bolstered by 14 new markets including heavyweights Russia on Jul 19 and Japan on Jul 20.

Both are expected to provide generous returns, especially Japan, where Warner Bros Pictures International (WBPI) will factor in previously unreported revenues from last weekend's preview screenings.

Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire opened number one in Japan in November 2005 on $11.4m. It launched on $2.5m a month later in Russia, where grosses were cannibalised by the release that same weekend of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe.

This time around there is no major fantasy rival to distract Russian audiences, and Harry should dominate. In terms of overall international performance, the biggest film in the franchise so far is Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone, which opened in late 2001 and finished on a formidable $657m.

It remains to be seen whether the release in bookshops this weekend of the seventh and final book in the series, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, will have an impact on box office.

WBPI stablemate 300 stands at $245m, while Ocean's Thirteen has amassed $149.54m, and Zodiac has taken $46.7m. Both films played at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

Paramount/PPI's Transformers isn't doing too badly either, and currently stands at $159.9m. The frenetic blockbuster brings the noise to nine territories this weekend including Mexico and South Africa on Jul 20.

Universal/UPI's cime thriller Smokin' Aces goes out in Italy on Jul 20 and has grossed $19.6m to date, while the Argentina-Uruguay comedy-drama La Cascara opens in Spain on Jul 20.

Fox International's Die Hard 4.0 scored a spectacular opening day in South Korea on Jul 18 and took $3.1m (2.9bn KRW). This set a new record for the distributor and was the fourth biggest industry opening day behind the early summer power trio of Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End, Shrek The Third, and Spider-Man 3.

Die Hard 4.0 launches in Taiwan on Jul 21, followed by Brazil in early August.

Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer stands at $105.9m excluding Germany, where it opens in early August.

Latest figures from Buena Vista International (BVI) and Sony Pictures Releasing International were unavailable at time of writing.

BVI's Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End should overtake Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest's $642.2m tally soon to become the fourth biggest international release in history. Ratatouille stands at more than $30m.