Universal will be looking to spread Love Actually around major European territories this weekend, in a bid to repeat the film's excellent $2.2m number one launch in Italy last weekend.
Germany (505 prints) and The Netherlands (108 prints) received the ensemble film yesterday (Nov 20). It rolls out in the UK (775 prints) and Spain (295 prints) today (Nov 21).
The UK opening weekend will be a major focus for the film; by way of comparison 2001's Bridget Jones's Diary took $9.6m (£5.7m) including previews. The comedy's cast features mostly British talent including Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley and Emma Thompson.
The roll out has also been tailored for specific markets. German posters have been altered to include local actress Heike Makatsch, who appears in the film, in place of UK TV soap star Martine McCutcheon, just as Portuguese posters replaced McCutcheon with local television actress Lucia Moniz. The film has taken $2.9m so far from two international territories.
UIP also launched the Coen Brothers' Intolerable Cruelty for Universal in France on 455 prints this week. The romantic comedy has earned $55.7m internationally to date and added to the domestic $34.4m is well on its way to $100m worldwide.
Also on Universal's slate is the first major launch for Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu English-language title 21 Grams. The drama, which stars Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and Benicio Del Toro, launches in Inarritu's home country of Mexico on Nov 21 across 300 prints. This is day-and-date with the beginning of its North American roll-out which sees the film enter eight sites in New York and Los Angeles.
Paramount comedy School Of Rock launched in Australia yesterday (Nov 20) taking pole position on its first day with $178,000 (A$247,000) from 200 prints at 168 screens. Australia is the first international territory to receive the Jack Black vehicle which has grossed $76.4m in North America.
New Line launched Elf in Mexico on Nov 20 through Videocine and sees horror title Freddy Vs Jason launch in Germany and Austria through Warner Bros. Still in early stages of its international roll-out Elf has taken $1.3m to date while the horror title has racked in $25.2m so far.
Buena Vista launched Finding Nemo in Germany on Nov 20. Meanwhile, the distributor's Kill Bill Volume 1 has been cut by 12 seconds in four scenes for the South Korean market in order to pass the censors there. It is released there on Nov 21. Kill Bill is also released at 88 screens in The Netherlands this weekend.
Fox provides competition in Mexico with local animated comedy Magos Y Gigantes on 280 prints and Spanish-French comedy L'Auberge Espagnole (also known as Pot Luck, The Spanish Apartment, Euro Pudding) on 20 prints. L'Auberge Espagnole, which features an international cast including Audrey Tautou, Romain Duris and Judith Godreche, has grossed approximately $23.8m internationally to date.
Also on Fox's slate this week are Le Divorce in South Korea (10 prints) and New Zealand (15 prints); Phone Booth will hope to build on its $47.2m internationally total by launching on 230 prints in its final major territory - Japan; John Grisham thriller Runaway Jury (3m to date) launches in Brazil on 90 prints; teen-dram Thirteen launches in Italy on 40 prints; and Brittany Murphy comedy Uptown Girls receives a double boost from Australia (124 prints) and Thailand (36 prints).