Dark Knight spreads wings overseas

On the heels of a laggardly spring at the foreign box office, Warner Bros.’ “Batman Begins” swoops into four international markets today and 67 more over the next three days with 8,000-plus playdates. The fifth installment of the Batman saga opens today amid a massive promo campaign in Belgium, France, Switzerland and the Philippines, followed by Thursday launches in Australia, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong and Singapore. Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom are the major markets opening Friday, followed by Japan on Saturday. The day-and-date strategy is designed to maximize marketing efforts and the improved multiplex structure in offshore territories while minimizing piracy problems. The only markets not opening this weekend are South Korea, which will open the following weekend, and Scandinavia.

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