The major European territoriessee audiences spoilt for choice this week with a variety of new openers,although last week's international chart leader, French smash Les Bronzes 3:Amis Pour La Vie, may prove hard to shiftfrom the throne.
In the UK the weekend heralds the arrival of schoolhalf-term holidays and as a result the territory sees the launch of family filmChicken Little from BVI. ChickenLittle has deliberately been kept for theholiday in the UK, which will be its final major territory to release, and BVIexpects the decision to pay off. "We are hoping for the best internationalresult," says Alan North, executive sales director, BVI UK. "It is a verystrong movie-going period and the one half-term holiday where there isliterally nothing else to do. The weather's normally in your favour." ChickenLittle has already grossed $140minternationally.
It will face competition from Warner Bros' The LittlePolar Bear 2 (which also opens in France)and 20th Century Fox's Big Momma's House 2
Big Momma's House 2 will also see releases in Russia, Denmark,Indonesia, Malaysia and Ecuador.
The UK will also receive teenhorror sequel Final Destination 3day-and-date with North America, the first major territory to play it. The filmwill be released by local distributor Entertainment Film Distributors atapproximately 320 locations. Limited releases of BVI's Proof and Park Chan-wook's Lady Vengeance (released by Tartan Films) will also play theterritory.
France will be the latest majorterritory to receive Nanny McPhee, whichwill go out through Mars Distribution in the territory. The film, which hasgrossed over $40m to date internationally, also opens in the Netherlands on 85prints.
UIP's Aeon Flux will also start in France (and Belgium) while localflavour comes from Pathe's Incontrolable and CTV International's Un Couple Parfait, although it is unlikely any film will topple lastweek's leader, the record breaking Les Bronzes 3: Amis Pour La Vie. Smaller releases include Himalaya director EricValli's La Piste through GaumontSPRI and Thai hit Tom-Yum-Goongthrough TFM Distribution.
Germany sees an early majorterritory launch for BVI's Casanova, aweek on from the Russian release ($0.4m).
Horror sequel Saw 2 will also launch, through Kinowelt. The originalgrossed $4.1m in the territory.
Warner Bros will give CharlizeTheron Awards contender North Countryreleases in Germany, Italy and Hong Kong as well as several smallerterritories.
Italy will see Underworld:Evolution debut. The film has grossed$14.4m from nine international territories to date. The first Underworld film grossed $2.15m in Italy.
Spain will play host to UIP's Pride& Prejudice on 195 prints and SPRI'sJim Carrey comedy Fun With Dick And Jane on 318 screens. George Clooney's GoodNight, And Good Luck will launch throughManga Films and BVI will release thriller Derailed (which also opens in Mexico). Meanwhile arthouse crowds can enjoy Lars vonTrier's Manderlay from Golem.
Pride & Prejudice, which received four Academy Award nominationsincluding best actress for Keira Knightley, also launches in Brazil (on 65prints) and Mexico (75). It has grossed $58.1m internationally to date.
Fun With Dick And Jane will also enjoy releases in the Netherlands (75screens) and Argentina (48). It has grossed $53.3m so far from internationalmarkets.
Sam Mendes' Jarhead will release in Japan and Australia on 260 printsand 180 prints respectively. Released by UIP the Gulf war drama has grossed$26.1m internationally to date.
Following its excellentinternational start last weekend ($7.74m from 24 territories) 20thCentury Fox's multiple Oscar and BAFTA nominee Walk The Line hits a host of smaller territories this weekend.Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Greece, Israel, New Zealand,Singapore and Taiwan will all receive the Johnny Cash biopic between February 8and 11.
Fox will also release ThePink Panther day-and-date across LatinAmerica. The film, which sees Steve Martin star as the infamous InspectorClouseau, launches in Mexico, Uruguay, Central America, the Dominian Republicand Puerto Rico.
The company also startsChristmas comedy The Family Stone inVenezuala, Peru and Bolivia.
UIP will release Jim Sheridan'sGet Rich Or Die Tryin' in theNetherlands on 24 screens. The territory also sees Paradiso Entertainmentrelease comedy Just Friends (20screens) and limited release documentary The Aristocrats (three screens). Independent Films will debut Uma Thurmanromantic comedy Prime on 32screens and the arthouse sector sees Filmmuseum release Battle InHeaven on seven screens. The biggestrelease will come courtesy of RCV with Kurt Russell/Dakota Fanning title Dreamer on 86 screens.Following a strong theatrical start in several international territories in the week it released straight to DVD in North America, BVI will also open Bambi 2 in Hungary, Iceland and Ecuador. It has a $4.9m cumulative gross to date.