Star Wars: Episode III has dominated the international landscape for thepast month but does it have the clout to see off a concerted challenge from Mr& Mrs Smith'
Either way Fox Internationalexecutives won't mind - the company handles Episode III and handles some international rights for Mr& Mrs Smith for New Regency,with Summit Entertainment, which originated and produced the film, having soldother key territories.
Episode III has charged to a mighty $320.4m internationalrunning total and strong holdovers will ensure that figure climbs higher thisweekend and pulls away from the $312.7m domestic running total.
The action thriller Mr& Mrs Smith is set to openthrough Fox International on 3,252 prints in 36 territories this weekendincluding four major markets.
It kicked off in Australiaand Mexico on Jun 9 on 358 and 550 prints respectively, and launches a daylater on 704 prints in the UK - where stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie enjoyhuge profiles - and Brazil on 326. The picture was also set to debut in Taiwanon Jun 9 on 129.
Fox International executivessaid the animated family picture Robots stands at $112.3m to date, with openings still to come this summer inChina, Japan and South Korea.
Buena Vista International(BVI) top brass are enjoying a strong run with Spyglass Entertainment's familytitle The Pacifier. BVI launchedthe picture in France on Jun 8 to further boost that $68.3m internationalcumulative total.
BVI also opens Spyglass filmThe Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy in Germany on Jun 9 and Russia on Jun 10, where there are high hopes ofbuilding on the sci-fi comedy's $28.9m total to date.
Sin City has amassed $7.9m through BVI territories so far.BVI holds limited international rights.
Universal's TheInterpreter has taken an impressive$70m through UIP so far and top brass have high hopes for the weekend giventhat the UN-set thriller opened number one in France on Jun 8. Italy willfollow in the autumn.
UIP is taking its timerolling out DreamWorks International's Madagascar, which has generated $7.3m from a smattering ofsmaller debuts so far. More smaller territories open this weekend.
Paramount's SpongeBobSquarePants The Movie has taken$51.7m and
Coach Carter currently stands at $6.9m, both through UIP.
Powered by strong word ofmouth, Kung Fu Hustle has stormedup to $70m since its sensational Asian run last year. Sony Pictures ReleasingInternational executives expect the martial arts romp to perform solidly inFrance this weekend from a Jun 8 debut on 339 prints.
Warner Bros PicturesInternational has no major releases scheduled for the weekend. Latest figuresput Miss Congeniality 2 on $52.6mand Constantine on $153.9m. Bothfigures include Village Roadshow territories.