Herbie: Fully Loaded is the sole US studio filmmaking its international debut this weekend - and that only in one territory -in the lull between the wide day-and-date global launches of last week's BatmanBegins and next week's War of the Worlds.
With teen favourite Lindsay Lohan starring, Herbieopens in Australia on Thursday (June 23), the same day as its US release.
Buena Vista International (BVI) is hoping that the firstoverseas launch for the favourably-reviewed comedy adventure - an update ofDisney's sixties franchise about the Volkswagen 'Love Bug' with a mind of itsown - will benefit from the start of the Australian school holidays.
Competing with Herbie for newly liberated student audienceswill be Warner Bros Pictures International's The Sisterhood of the TravelingPants, another female teen-oriented picture opening in Australia thisweekend.
After launching day-and-date with the US in 73 internationalterritories last week, Warner Bros' Batman Begins opens this weekend inKorea, South Africa, Portugal, Israel and Indonesia.
A strong Korean showing by the action franchise entry (whichopened at number one in neighbouring Japan) would be a handy addition toholdover business for Batman Begins, which as of June 22 had grossed$49m over its first week in the international marketplace.
DreamWorks' UIP-distributed Madagascar, which lastweekend kept Batman Begins out of the top chart spot in a fewterritories, will be looking for strong debuts this weekend in France (where itopened on June 22), Brazil (June 24), Belgium (June 22) and New Zealand (June23).
As of June 19, the animated offering had amassed $29.6m ininternational markets.
Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) launches KungFu Hustle on June 23 on 91 screens in Russia and on June 24 on 250 screensin the UK. The Chinese martial arts hit has so far grossed $73.7minternationally.
SPRI opens action sequel XXX 2 in Greece, one of itslast few markets, on June 24. The film's international total stands at $42.8m.
Fox International gives several films major-territoryreleases this weekend: The Amityville Horror (whose international totalstands at $17.5m) opens with 250 prints in France, one of its last fewterritories; comedy Guess Who' ($16.5m from international so far) debutswith 72 prints in Russia; Woody Allen's Melinda & Melinda ($14m frominternational so far) kicks off with 59 prints in Germany and five in Japan;and drama Because of Winn-Dixie ($144,429 from international so far)begins with 21 prints in Italy.
BVI's other international opener is romantic comedy A LotLike Love ($7.4m from international to date), which launches in Germany onJune 23 and in the UK on June 24.