The two first undisputed summer blockbusters, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones and Spider-Man, both crossed the $100m mark at the international box office over the weekend.
Episode II also managed to do so in record time, passing $100m on May 24, after just nine days on release. 20th Century Fox's film had grossed $128.9m by end of play Sunday (May 26). Top territories include the UK ($31.2m) and Germany ($21.9m).
Meanwhile Spider-Man also passed $100m internationally over the weekend, having debuted on May 3. A hefty portion of this tally has come from Japan, the biggest international territory. The film, which opened in Japan on May 11, has grossed $32.2m (Y4bn) from 500 screens so far, sold 2.2 million tickets, and is expected to gross over $80m (Y10bn) in Japan alone before the end of its run. Episode II does not open in Japan until July.
Strong prospects are also expected for a slew of releases yet to come this summer. Austin Powers In Goldmember will look to follow 1999's Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me which passed the $100m mark internationally. Similarly Columbia's Men In Black II will hope to match the $337m taken international by its 1997 predecessor. Columbia will also release a sequel to Stuart Little, which grossed over $150m from international territories in 2000.
20th Century Fox's Minority Report should perform well given the combination of director Steven Spielberg and star Tom Cruise. Spielberg's A.I. Artificial Intelligence grossed over $150m from international territories last year. Cruise's most recent release, Vanilla Sky, grossed $100.7m in the international market place. His last major summer release, 2000's Mission: Impossible 2, grossed $330m internationally and was the biggest earner of the year.
Correction - Earlier in the week on Screendaily.com it was stated that Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones had not beaten Spider-Man in Serbia and Montenegro. However, the information represented a three-day gross for Star Wars in comparison to a seven-day one for Spider-Man. Over three-days Episode II did perform better taking $34,000 (Dinars 2.8m) from 15,551 admissions at 10 screens compared to Spider-Man's $22,000 (Dinars 1.5m) from 13,185 at 16 screens.