Michael Mann's Muhammad Ali biopic, simply titled Ali, took on a host of major international territories this week with inconsistent results.

The film, for which stars Will Smith and Jon Voight are nominated for acting awards at this month's Academy Awards, came out fighting in France where it took second place with seven-day sales of 505,352 tickets (equivalent to $2.4m) from 579 screens.

Although unable to knock out local heavy-hitter Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, which has reigned over the French box office for five weeks, it is a strong result for Ali, distributed in France by Bac Distribution. The drama played particularly well in Paris, where it recorded 141,065 ringside admissions ($677,112) from 48 screens for an average of 2,939 admissions per screen - only just below Asterix's average of 3,050.

In South Korea the film has become the centre of some controversy after local distributor Arumdaun Film Company, a new arm of distributor Korea Pictures, admitted to cutting approximately half an hour of footage for the film's local release.

The company cited numerous scenes covering events from American history that local viewers would find uninteresting, as well as a desire to trim the film's length to accommodate five screenings per day.

Ali was released at 158 minutes in the US and UK, the edited Korean print totals 123 minutes. The disputable cuts have prompted protests by fans as well as extensive local press coverage. Suffering as a result, Ali grossed just $452,000 in South Korea over the weekend landing sixth place. In comparison fellow Hollywood opener, Ocean's Eleven claimed $2.23m over the same period.

Italy saw Ali go in fifth, with $356,902 (Euros 412,222) for local distributor Cecchi Gori. Playing on 145 sites Ali scored an okay average of $2,461, which was however higher than that of fourth placed opener Vidocq. Instead the Italians favoured holdover A Beautiful Mind, which took the top spot with $2.06m as well as new Meg Ryan release Kate & Leopold ($739,907 from 230 prints).

Now in its third round in the UK for distributor Entertainment, Ali is holding up having taken $4.2m to date and currently residing in fourth position - taking $1.2m last weekend.

Australia's opening last week, where it is managed by Roadshow, was also impressive, taking second place with $1.6m (A$3.1m) from 236 screens over seven days. However Ali showed the strongest screen average ($6,770) of any film in the Australian top 15, including first placed Black Hawk Down ($1.6m from 283 for an average of $5,732) and third-placed local opener Rabbit-Proof Fence ($642,654 from 95 for $6,764).

Ali opens in The Netherlands for RCV this weekend. The film grossed $57.2m in North America for Sony Pictures.

Additional reporting by Darcy Paquet.