Fox International top brass are unleashing Ice Age 2: TheMeltdown in 27territories day-and-date with North America, and they expect the animatedsequel to be a worthy commercial successor to the original.

Ice Age launched in2002 and ended up taking more than $206m internationally and more than $380mworldwide.

Meanwhile another sequel C2 Pictures' Basic Instinct 2: RiskAddiction hits a host ofterritories through independents and majors who licensed the rights for variousterritories from C2.

Ice Age 2 opensin a number of key territories this weekend, including Russia on Mar 30 on 462prints, followed a day later by Brazil, Mexico and Spain on 418, 750 and 450respectively.

Comparisons are inevitable in a franchise and executives will bemindful of the fact that the original scored what was at the time Fox's biggestand the industry's second biggest ever opening weekend in Mexico in March 2002on $8.6m from 525 sites.

Another target will be Brazil, where Ice Age opened around the same time and producedapproximately $950,000 from 292 screens.

Meanwhile Basic Instinct 2, whose predecessor took a mighty $235m international grossin 1992, has opened through Fox in Australia and New Zealand this week, takinga number three $42,000 first day performance in Australia on Mar 30.

BVI has the adult thriller in Latin America and kicks off inArgentina on Mar 30 and Colombia on Mar 31. Warner Bros has it in Italy andopens it on Friday Mar 31

Leading independents are also opening the film thisweekend including Entertainment in the UK, Constantin in Germany, Ocean Filmsin France and Araba Films in Spain.

Meanwhile BVI's adventure Eight Below goes out in Italy and Mexico on Mar 31;it has grossed $4.9m so far. Comedy The Shaggy Dog, which now stands at $6.7m, opens in the UK on Mar 31.

The romance Casanova opens in Belgium on Mar 29 and Turkey on Mar 31; to date hasgrossed more than $23.2m. The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch AndThe Wardrobe has amassedmore than $429.5m to date.

Warner Bros Pictures International (WBIP) has an assortment ofreleases this weekend, with Syriana set to open in South Korea on Mar 31. The thriller hasgrossed more than $31.1m so far.

The Harrison Ford thriller Firewall opens in Germany on Mar 30 and the UK a day later andwill be hoping to increase its lackluster $11.6m total. The graphic noveladaptation V For Vendetta, whichstands at $13.9m, launched in Australia on Mar 30. All WBPI figures are as ofMar 27.

Universal's number one North American picture Inside Man will be looking to crack Australia on Mar30. The heist story is in the early stages of release. Action title Doom ventures into Japan on Apr 1.

Paramount's romantic comedy Failure To Launch tries it on in the UK and Italy on Mar31. Comedy Last Holiday opens in Brazil on Mar 31 and drama Two For The Money goes out in Mexico Mar 31.

Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) opens Fun WithDick And Jane in SouthKorea on Mar 31 and executives will be looking to boost the comedy remake's$87.1m international tally.

When A Stranger Calls pays a visit on Brazil on Mar 31; the thriller has taken $1.7m todate from the early stages of release.

Family title YoursMine And Ours, which hasgrossed $3.2m to date, opens in the UK on Mar 31, while family picture Zathuralaunches in Australia onMar 30.