Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End invades the global marketplace this weekend, opening in North America and 101 international markets in what will be Buena Vista's biggest day-and-date launch ever.

The third installment of Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer's swashbuckling franchise - with regulars Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley being joined in the cast by Geoffrey Rush and Chow Yun-Fat - opened on Wednesday (May 23) in France, Italy and some smaller territories, and had preview screenings in Korea (Buena Vista International did not provide screen or print counts).

On Thursday (May 24) the film arrives in Australia, Germany Russia and more than a dozen other markets. Friday (May 25) sees major-market openings in Brazil, Mexico, Spain and the UK, where the film will have a four-day weekend run, thanks to Monday's Bank Holiday.

Friday is also launch day in the US, which also has a Monday holiday (Memorial Day).

The film reaches Japan on Saturday (May 26). The only major territories in which it does not open this weekend are India, where the launch will be next weekend (June 1), and China, which has to wait until June 10.

At World's End will be chasing box office records set just three weeks ago during the global launch of Sony's Spider-Man 3. The Spidey sequel (which opened on a Tuesday in some markets) notched up the biggest international opening ever with $231m, and the biggest international Friday-Sunday opening weekend ever with $176.8m.

In the US, Buena Vista will be looking to reclaim the domestic opening weekend record. Until Spider-Man 3 opened with $151.1m, that record belonged to last summer's second Pirates of the Caribbean film, Dead Man's Chest, which debuted with $135.6m in early July 2006 (taking the record from the original Spider-Man).

Dead Man's Chest opened more gradually than the new Pirates in the international marketplace. It started day-and-date with the US in just a few major markets, taking $46.6m. But it eventually pulled in $642.3m from international territories, giving it a global tally of $1.06bn, the third highest worldwide total of all time.

Unsurprisingly, only a smattering of other films will have major-territory international openings this weekend.

Fox International opens Borat in Japan, the film's last major territory, on Saturday (May 26) with 30 prints. The comedy has so far grossed $131m internationally.

Fox also launches The History Boys (international total to date $9.5m) on Friday (May 25) with 21 prints in Italy and Namesake (international total to date $2.1m) on Friday with 43 prints in Spain and six in Brazil.

Among other titles currently on release, Universal's Mr Bean's Holiday has now grossed $168.5m outside North America; Fox International's 28 Weeks Later is on $11.3m; Paramount's Next is at $1.8m; and Blades of Glory, from DreamWorks/Paramount, has notched $15.2m.