Riding high on $126m ininternational ticket sales, Spider-Man 2 is expected to continue its storming early run with huge bows in threemajor European markets this weekend.
The comic book sequel openedthrough Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI) in France on915 screens on Jul 14 and goes out in Spain the same day on 605. It opens inthe UK on a massive 1,117 screens on Jul 15.
The webslinger will prosperin all three territories if the performances of Spider-Man in 2002 are anything to go by.
The original grossed $13.9mwhen it opened in 509 UK theatres in June 2002, despite the huge audience draindistraction of the World Cup football match between England and Denmark thattook place the same weekend.
This time around CTFDIexecutives have taken great pains to ensure Spider-Man 2 would be unencumberedby sporting occasions and waited for the recent Euro 2004 tournament to finishbefore launching in Europe.
The original also launchedin France in June 2002 on $9.9m from 901 theatres and grossed $8.1m from 512that same month in Spain.
Spider-Man 2 bows were also set this weekend for Holland,Portugal and Belgium on Jul 14 on 127, 105 and 87 respectively.
Elsewhere the distributorreleases the romantic comedy 13 Going On 30 in Russia on Jul 16.
Fox International launchesthe comedy Garfield in its firstmajor markets of Brazil and Mexico on Jul 16, on 280 and 450 printsrespectively. It also opens in Argentina on Jul 15 on 56.
The action picture WalkingTall opens in Germany on Jul 15 on302, while I, Robot gets itsfirst bow in Thailand on Jul 15. The sci-fi thriller opens in Australia nextweek and a larger roll-out is scheduled for the following weekend.
Distribution executives saidRoland Emmerich's eco-disaster picture The Day After Tomorrow has amassed $338m to date.
Buena Vista Internationallaunches King Arthur in its firstmajor international market of Australia (15), with smaller bows in New Zealandand Singapore on the same day and the Philippines on Jul 14.
The comedy Calendar Girlsopens in Brazil on Jul 16 and hasgrossed $63.9m to date.
Universal's action sequel TheChronicles Of Riddick gets a bigpush in Latin America this weekend, going out through UIP in Mexico on about320 prints on Jul 16 and Brazil the same day on 160.
The picture is a relativelynew arrival on the international circuit and studio executives will be hopingfor a strong performance after a disappointing US run.
UIP is also releasingParamount's drama The Stepford Wives in Australia and Germany on Jul 15, which has amassed $3.4m from itslimited run so far.
The Dreamworks comedy Eurotrip opens in Spain on Jul 16 and Paramount's TheFighting Temptations goes out inItaly on the same day.
Warner Bros opens HarryPotter And The Prisoner Of Azkabanin Korea on Jul 15; the family picture has taken $409m to date. Troy is on $345.4m.