Cry havoc and let slip ThePassion Of The Christ. Mel Gibson'sBiblical epic and number one US smash hit is gearing up for some divine boxoffice performances this upcoming weekend when Fox International opens thepicture in its first Latin American markets.
Passion is going out on1,216 prints in nine mostly Catholic markets, with almost half the print count(555) reserved for what should be a mighty Mexican bow on Mar 19.
The picture also opens thesame day in Brazil on 400 prints and opens in Columbia and Peru on Mar 18 on 42and 30 respectively.
This is the first wave of Passion openings through Fox International, which also holdsrights in the Asia-Pacific region. Gibson and Bruce Davey's Icon has alreadyreleased the picture in Australia and New Zealand.
Elsewhere Fox Internationalopens MGM's Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London in its first major market of Australia on Mar 18 on171 prints - less than a week after the teen sequel opened in fifth place inthe US.
Agent Cody Banks opened on limited release in Australia lastSeptember, expanding wide the following week to 93 theatres and climbing toeighth place on $274,425.
The comedy Cheaper By TheDozen opens in Italy on Mar 19 on212 and has taken $37.5m from international markets to date.
The thriller Runaway Jury opened in France on Mar 17 on 212 and has grossed$22.8m from its markets so far. Fox Searchlight's teen comedy BrokenLizard's Club Dread gets its firstinternational release in Spain on Mar 19 on 230.
New Line International's TheLord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King should continue to make good currency out of its recent Academy Awardstriumph and build on its $700m-plus box office.
It added $10.7m last weekendand raised its international running total by the end of Mar 17 to $700.2m.
Universal executives arehoping Along Came Polly canmaintain its boisterous international form when it opens in Taiwan through UIPon Mar 20 on 60 prints. The romantic comedy has grossed $43m to date.
Universal is also opening AngerManagement, which Sony releaseddomestically last year, in Japan on Mar 20 on 140. Japan is the only marketwhere Universal has rights for the comedy.
Paramount's thriller Paycheck opens in Australia on Mar 18 and drama ThePerfect Score opens in the UK on Mar19.
Warner Bros should get agood reception when it opens local boy Pedro Almodovar's latest drama BadEducation in Spain on Mar 19. Astrong opening seems assured given that Almodovar's last picture Talk To Her opened top in Spain in March 2002 on $1.6m.
The racing thriller Torque opens in Spain on the same day and has taken $16.6mincluding Village Roadshow markets.
Other latest internationalrunning totals released by the distributor put The Last Samurai on $337.3m, Something's Gotta Give on $104.7m and Mystic River on $63.345m, which includes Village Roadshowmarkets.
Following the platformrelease of Starsky & Hutch inthe UK last weekend, Buena Vista International (BVI) is expanding the buddymovie adaptation to saturation level. A mighty gross is inevitable given thepopularity of the 1970s television series in the UK.
BVI opens its animated hit BrotherBear, currently on $103.8m, inGermany on Mar 18 and Russia and South Africa on Mar 19.
The distributor is alsoreleasing the adventure picture Hidalgo in Australia on Mar 18 and in Korea a day later.
Columbia TriStar FilmDistributors International (CTFDI) opens the drama Mona Lisa Smile in Korea on Mar 19 and executives will be hoping fora strong bow to boost the picture's $59.9m international running total.
Elsewhere, CTFDI is openingthe horror picture Gothika inItaly on Mar 19 ($34.5m from CTFDI markets to date) and this year's Oscarwinning documentary The Fog Of Waropens in Australia on Mar 18.