A diverse trio of studio-distributed films make their international debuts this weekend, with Sony launching comic book-based action outing Ghost Rider and Universal opening spy drama The Good Shepherd and British comedy Hot Fuzz.

Ghost Rider, with Nicolas Cage as the Marvel Comics title character, opens through Sony Pictures Releasing International in Australia, Mexico, Spain, Russia and a number of smaller territories day-and-date with its Friday, Feb 16 North American release.

The Good Shepherd, Universal/UPI's Matt Damon spy drama, opened on Thursday, Feb 15 at 137 locations in Germany and 204 locations in Australia and New Zealand.

Universal/UPI's cop thriller spoof Hot Fuzz, from the UK's Working Title, opens in at 422 locations in its home territory on Friday, Feb 16.

Among holdovers, Fox International's Night At The Museum, last weekend's international leader, expanded to 85 screens in Belgium on Wednesday, Feb 14 and to 103 screens in Holland on Thursday, Feb 15. The comedy smash - with an international total to date of $237.4m - also launched on Feb 14 in China, hitting 380 screens.

Other Fox International films opening in major territories are Rocky Balboa (international total to date $60.4m), which hit 200 screens in Korea on Wednesday, Feb 14; The Last King of Scotland (international total $11m), which arrived on 120 screens in France on Feb 14 and 50 screens in Italy on Friday, Feb 16; and Notes on a Scandal (international total $6.7m), which reached 100 screens in Australia on Thursday, Feb 15.

Paramount/PPI's award-winning musical Dreamgirls opens in Brazil on Friday, Feb 16 and in Japan on Saturday, Feb 17 and also steps into a number of smaller territories. The film's international total as of Feb 13 was $13.9m.

Warner Bros Pictures International (WBPI) takes its two Clint Eastwood-directed war films to new markets this weekend.

Letters from Iwo Jima (whose international total was $41.1m as of Feb 11) lands in Italy, Spain, Brazil and Mexico on Friday, Feb 16 and in Taiwan on Sunday, Feb 18.

Flags of Our Fathers (with a Feb 11 international total of $29.8m) reached Korea on Thursday, Feb 15.

WBPI opened romantic comedy Music & Lyrics - which took $3.8m over its first weekend in the UK, its first international territory - in Australia and Taiwan on Wednesday, Feb 14.

Buena Vista International's only major-territory opener this week is period drama Hollywoodland, which arrived in Germany and Austria on Thursday, Feb 15. The film's international total to date is $1.9m.