The Asian marketplace onceagain showed its strength this week while the Hollywood blockbuster sequelscontinued to battle for pole position.

Spider-Man 2 finally took the lead from Shrek 2 inits third week after launching in a slew of European and Middle Easternterritories including the UK and France. In the process the webslinger breezedpassed the $200m international mark.

Not to be outdone Shrek2's $25.6m weekend saw the animated sequel ease past the $300m mark. Theonly new launch for the film came from a number one start in Iceland butdespite heavy competition from Spider-Man 2 the film continued to playwell in most territories.

A fourth position for periodmartial arts film House Of Flying Daggers only hinted at the tremendoussuccess of Zhang Yimou's follow up to Hero. The film smashed records inChina as well as opening in Hong Kong and Taiwan (see separate story on has grossed over $104m internationally with many territoriesawaiting a release of the film.

Meanwhile the latest in theJapanese animated Pocket Monsters series (better known inEnglish-language territories as Pokemon) swept into Japan fordistributor Toho and claimed sixth place on the international chart.

Jerry Bruckheimer's KingArthur also launched internationally at the weekend spearheaded by a numberone launch in Australia that dethroned Spider-Man 2 with a $2.45m (A$3.35m) weekend. A strong international start for the drama could be a good signfor Buena Vista after the film showed disappointing numbers for its first twoweeks in North America.

For international box office chart, click here