A wideday-and-date international launch for UIP/Working Title's Johnny

English has paid off with a massive $19.98m recorded over the weekend (April 11-13)from the 22 territories that received the spy spoof.

Deliberately placed a week prior toEaster, the Peter Howitt-directed film firmly addressedfamily audiences and took the number one spot in 20 of the 22 territoriesplayed. This was the widest ever multi-territory release for a Working Titlefilm. And the total gross to date is $20.3m (it launched in some territories onWednesday and Thursday last week).

The score is testament to theworldwide popularity of star Rowan Atkinson. He is known throughout the worldfor his Mr Bean and Blackaddertelevision characters, and his starring roles in films including Bean (the 1997 big screen outing for his televisioncharacter grossed $232m worldwide) and as the voice of Zazuin Disney's The Lion King (thehighest grossing animated film of all time with $772m worldwide).

JohnnyEnglish saw its biggest successes come from the UK and Germany, where it grossed $5.4m (£3.4m) and $4.5m(Euros 4.2m) respectively and took top spot in both. In Israel the comedy scored UIP its fourth highest opening ever with $263,116 from32 screens - an average of $8,222per screen.

The UK opening was the second highest three-dayopening of 2003, after 8Mile, and took place on a date that is fast becoming a traditional weekend for home-grown UK hits to open - in 2002 Helkon SK launched BendIt Like Beckham to the top of the chart with $3.1m (£2m) and in 2001 UIP openedWorking Title's Bridget Jones's Diaryfor a $7.2m (£4.6m) three-day weekend.

In Australia Johnny English knocked NedKelly (another Working Title production and UIP release) from the top spotwith a $1.5m (A$2.4m) four-day weekend gross from 252 screens. Other majorterritory successes included Spain ($1.5m from 316 screens) and Italy ($1.3m from 364 screens).

The film was kept from the top spotin Denmark and New Zealand. In Denmark local hit Anja After Viktor held the top spot for asecond weekend for Buena Vista International with$389,632 (DKR 2.7m) at 98 screens, keeping JohnnyEnglish down in second with $174,583 (DKR 1.2m) from 59 screens. New Zealand saw Maid In Manhattan take top spot.

Other territories where Johnny English launched include Austria ($741,390 from 107 screens), Belgium ($646,054 from 58 screens), TheNetherlands ($658,247 from 111), Portugal ($409,235 from 50) and German-speaking Switzerland($827,075 from 63).

JohnnyEnglish will open in an addition 18 territories next weekend and North America for Universal on July 18. The film co-stars John Malkovich, Natalie Imbrugliaand Ben Miller.