Fox International gives itsanimated picture Robots a massivepush this weekend, with major debuts scheduled for a number of leading marketsahead of the Easter break.
Blue Sky/Fox's follow-up to 2002's Ice Age was due to open in Germany on a huge 900 prints and Russia on 279 onMar 17, followed a day later in the UK on 764, Spain on 427, Brazil on 378, andSweden on 120.
Strong debuts seem assured given the strength of Hollywood animation and theimpressive debuts by Ice Age backin spring 2002, when it opened top in Germany on a staggering $10.6m in 794theatres, top in Brazil on $1m, and a close second in the UK behind local heroAli G on $4.3m in 423 theatres.
Robots opened number one inMexico last weekend and has grossed $6.8m from its markets in its first week.
Buena Vista International's (BVI) Pooh's Heffalump Movie also opens wide in the UK, Spain and Russia on Mar18 in time for the Easter holidays, however its market is far younger than thatof Robots and there shouldn't bemuch cannibalisation of revenues.
Heffalump also opens in Italy andMexico on the same day and has grossed $9m to date.
BVI releases Miramax International's horror title Darkness in its first international markets of Australia onMar 17 and the UK a day later.
National Treasure is set to openin China on Mar 18 and Japan a day later and executives will be looking for astrong boost to the adventure's $138.8m international cumulative total.
The Life Aquatic was set to openin Australia and Germany on Mar 17 and has grossed $4.4m to date.
Universal was due to release the horror picture Boogeyman through UIP in Germany on Mar 17 on 250 prints. Boogeyman has grossed $3.2m in the UK to date.
The distributor also opens Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason in its final major market of Japan on Mar 19 on 300prints. The romantic comedy sequel has amassed $205.4m through all distributorsto date.
DreamWorks International's horror sequel The Ring Two goes out through UIP in Mexico on Mar 18, one of araft of markets opening day-and-date with North America this weekend.
Paramount's Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events goes out through UIP in Italy on Mar 18 Italy andhas taken $69.6m from its international run so far.
Latest UIP figures put DreamWorks International's comedy sequel Meet TheFockers on $214.4m, animated hit SharkTale on $175.8m, and Paramount'sdrama Alfie on $19.4m.
There are no major releases set through Sony Pictures Releasing Internationalthis weekend, however strong holds will boost the $65.9m running total (as ofMar 13) for the romantic comedy Hitch, which has been the top grossing international picture over the lasttwo weekends.
As of Mar 13 the comedy Are We there Yet' stood at $8.8m, while the relationship drama Closer reached $74.2m and comedy Spanglish was at $8.4m.
New Line International's comedy sequel Son Of The Mask goes out in Russia on Mar 17 and has grossed $7.6mto date.
Information from Warner Bros Pictures International was unavailable at time ofwriting.