Easter weekend sees somewide studio offerings hit the markets, while other pictures already in themarket, most notably The Passion Of The Christ will be looking for holiday audiences to bump theirgrosses.
Most notably, The Passion opens in Italy on Friday through Eagle Pictureswhich has spent Euros 2.5m to launch the film. Other European territories likeSpain (Aurum) and France (Quinta) should also capitalize on the Easter holidaysto keep the movie atop their box office charts.
Fox International is lookingto continue its dominance of Latin America with Passion. As of Tuesday, the picture had taken $43.3m in Foxterritories which also comprise most of Asia excluding Japan. The onlyremaining Fox opening is Thailand on April 22.
Family fare and comedies arealso opening to catch a more festive holiday fever. BVI is launching MiramaxInternational's Scary Movie 3 on400 screens in Spain, marking the widest release in the distributor's historyin that territory.
BVI also has Starsky AndHutch opening in Australia,Argentina and Hong Kong and the family adventure Hidalgo in German-speakingEurope, Benelux, Italy and Portugal. Hidalgo has so far opened in France, Spain, Australia andNew Zealand and south east Asia and has a running total of $13m.
Warner Bros has so far taken$20.6m on Scooby Doo 2 and islooking for a big easter weekend, with France the only major territory opening.
Other feelgood movies goingout for Easter include Universal/UIP's The Cat In The Hat in Spain yesterday and in Germany today, FoxInternational's Cheaper By The Dozen in Belgium, Portugal, South Africa and Thailand and Columbia TriStar's 50First Dates in the UK on 419 printsand in Mexico on 338 prints.
50 First Dates will facestiff competition in the UK from Universal/UIP's homegrown comedy Shaun OfThe Dead, a takeoff of Dawn OfThe Dead, which has strong advanceword and heavy media coverage. It goes out on Friday on 350 prints.
Two US openers from lastweekend make their international debuts: MGM/Fox's Walking Tall opens in Malaysia and Puerto Rico while CTFDI's Hellboy makes its bow in Taiwan on 72 prints and inSingapore on 37 prints.
Other big openings include IntolerableCruelty which hits Japan on Saturdayon 150 prints for Universal/UIP. The studio has so far taken $80.7m on the filminternationally, although this is the final major territory.
Fox has rights in Mexico to Underworld which it launches this weekend on 150 prints, whileanother horror picture CTFDI's Secret Window opens on 197 in Australia, 31 in New Zealand and 15in Israel. And serial killer thriller Taking Lives goes out in Germany and Brazil for Warner Bros.
Australia also sees openingsfrom Fox's family picture Catch That Kid and DreamWorks/UIP's romantic comedy Win A Date With Tad Hamilton! from local director Robert Luketic.