Fox International launches action adventure Pathfinder in four international territories this weekend in advance of its domestic opening on April 27; meanwhile Universal/UPI opens crime caper Smokin' Aces in the UK ahead of its US opening on Jan 26.

The overseas-first opening policy is becoming more prevalent and was used last year notably by Universal on Children Of Men which opened in most of the world ahead of its Dec domestic launch.

Fox International has a busy weekend at the box office. In addition to kicking Pathfinder off in four markets, the largest of which is Russia, it is opening monster hit Night At The Museum in an additional five territories including Brazil on Jan 12. The family film currently stands at $129.9m overseas.

The fantasy adventure Eragon sets off in South Korea on Jan 11 and Vietnam a day later and should sweep past $150m, given its $142.9m international running total.

Rocky Balboa charges into the ring in six territories for Fox including Italy, Mexico and Spain on Jan 12 followed a day later in Taiwan.

The Fountain opens in South Africa on Jan 12, and The Last King Of Scotland goes out in the UK on Jan 12.

In addition to Smokin' Aces in the UK, Universal/UPI is opening romantic comedy The Holiday in Mexico on Jan 12.

Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) launches the Will Smith drama The Pursuit Of Happyness in its first overseas markets.

Executives know Smith's global popularity has produced major results outside of North America, and will be looking for a strong start in Australia on Jan 11 on 223 screens and the UK on Jan 12 on 413. The film also opens on Jan 12 in the director Gabriele Muccino's native Italy, where SPRI does not hold rights.

Monster House opens in Japan on Jan 13 on 250 and has amassed $61.7m so far. Latest figures put Casino Royale on $379m, and Open Season on $95.5m, which rises to $101.1m including $4.6m from IMAX screens.

Paramount/PPI launches Jackass Number Two in Japan on Jan 13. According to figures updated this week, the family film Charlotte's Web has grossed more than $15.3m.

Warner Bros Pictures International's (WBPI) mystery The Prestige opens in Spain on Jan 12. It has taken $36m so far.

Blood Diamond stands at $3.4m, The Departed has taken $124m including non-WBPI territories, Flags Of Our Fathers has taken $25.3m, Happy Feet stands at $141.5m including Roadshow territories, and Letters From Iwo Jima has grossed $30.4m.

Openings from Buena Vista International were not available at time of writing.