X-Men: The Last Standmuscles its way into 95 territories this weekend, giving the internationalmarketplace its second ultra-wide day-and-date release in quick succession. TheFox International action sequel is set to open with a total of 8,500 prints playingon around 10,000 screens, with only Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China notincluded in the debut markets.
Coming a week after the90-territory, 12,000-screen launch of Sony's The Da Vinci Code, theopening will test the strength not just of the X-Men franchise but also of themarketplace itself: having grossed a record-breaking $155m from itsinternational bow, Da Vinci should still, this weekend, provide LastStand with stiff competition in most territories.
Late on Wednesday, Fox wasreporting promising numbers from Last Stand's first internationalterritory. On its May 24, 800-print opening day in France the film drew 331,000admissions (including 35,000 from previews the night before), Fox's sixthbiggest opening day ever in the territory. In Paris, the opening day admissiontally was 65,000, putting Last Stand well ahead of rival new release Marie-Antoinetteand holdover Da Vinci.
Last Stand - the third filmin the Marvel comic book trilogy, with Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry starringfor director Brett Ratner - continues its rollout on Thursday, May 25 in majorterritories Germany (with 900 prints), Australia (410 prints) and Russia (426prints).
On Friday, May 26 the film hitsmarkets including Italy (513 prints), Spain (455 prints), Brazil (495 prints)and Mexico (750 prints). Friday is also launch day in the UK (861 prints),where Last Stand should do extra business because of the Spring Holidayon Monday.
Friday is also launch day in the US,where Last Stand will have the benefit of opening over the Memorial Dayholiday weekend.
As they did last weekend, most other studios haveavoided going up against the ubiquitous potential blockbuster.
Sony Pictures ReleasingInternational gives The Da Vinci Code a Friday (May 26) launch in India(where the film's scheduled release last weekend was delayed) with 120 prints.As of late Wednesday the thriller's international gross had reached $191.3m, sothe $200m barrier will certainly be crossed before the weekend starts.
UIP gives Universal's CuriousGeorge its first major-territory international openings, launching the animatedchildren's film in Germany (on Thursday, May 25) and the UK (on Friday, May26).
UIP has also launched footballdocumentary Zidane in France (on Wednesday, May 24) and will open comedyThe Last Holiday in Australia (on Thursday, May 25).
Warner Bros International launchesPoseidon in one more Asian territory, releasing the film (whoseinternational total stood at $7.6m on Wednesday) in Taiwan on Saturday, May 27.
Besides X-Men, FoxInternational is opening two other titles on Thursday, May 25: Just My Luck arrives with 100 printsin Korea and Separate Lies with 36 in Australia.