Universal’s sequel to 2012’s Snow White And The Huntsman is opening in 18 international territories this weekend ahead of its domestic debut on April 22. On Friday, The Huntsman: Winter’s War chopped down $4M for an early overseas total of $15M. That puts the weekend at an estimated $21.3M through Sunday. Across the bows, the film opened No. 1 in the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam and Mexico.

Competition in international markets this weekend includes the continued run of Warner Bros’ Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, which grossed an estimated $7.6M on Friday in 67 offshore hubs. That reps a 60% drop from the sophomore Friday last week. The overseas total is now $463.5M. Disney also has a pair of pics this frame with Zootopia in its zooper-duper ongoing run and the live-action Jungle Book making an early swing in a handful of plays to take advantage of local dating opportunities. We’ll have the full weekend estimates tomorrow.

Looking at The Huntsman: Winter’s War, a direct comp isn’t apples-to-apples with Snow White And The Huntsman. That pic, which starred Kristen Stewart who is not back for part II, bowed in an opening suite of 45 territories. It grossed $39.3M in its first weekend which fell at the tail end of May 2012. It was No. 1 in 67% of its release territories; Winter’s War has 56% No. 1s. The original topped out at about $240M overseas which is around $190M in today’s dollars.

This time, Cedric Nicolas-Troyan takes over the director’s chair from Rupert Sanders and turns the focus on Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman. Also returning are Charlize Theron and Sam Claflin with Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain suiting up for the first time. Set in the aftermath of SWATH’s events, Winter’s War explores the Huntsman’s origins, revealing that he started out in the employ of Freya (Blunt), evil sister to Queen Ravenna (Theron), until he defied her one demand by falling in love with fellow warrior Sara (Chastain). As Freya works to resurrect her sister, the Huntsman works to be reunited with his lost love.

Including previews, the UK is the top opener with $2.8M thus far at 526 dates. Friday’s score was $696K. On the previous film, the UK was also the strongest debut with about $5.5M before the big currency fluctuations of the past two years, and ultimately grossed $25M+.

Australia, where THWW opened in only some states, was a No. 2 bow on Thursday. The gross is $980K at 262 dates. It’s running a close race with Zootopia for No. 1 over the weekend. Oz was hot for Hemsworth’s Huntsman the last time around at about $21M.

There are 47 more territories to open over the next two months. Next weekend adds seven, including Korea and Russia. China goes day-and-date with the U.S.

On BvS, here are the current top cumes through Friday: China $91.2M; UK $45.4M; Mexico $32.1M; Brazil $25.2M; Australia $19.1M.

More to come tomorrow.