Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol — now the biggest in the franchise on a $571m worldwide tally — got back into the driving seat internationally through PPI thanks to a big debut in China and $25m overall from 7,837 sites in 63 markets to boost the score to $369m.

The action film opened in China on $12.7m from 3,000 venues over two days, resulting in a debut that was more than five times that of Mission: Impossible 3’s launch there over a comparable period.

There was an excellent debut in Italy on $3.1m from 170 as well as table topping results in Norway on $1.2m from 170, Sweden on $1.1m from 158 and Denmark on $847,000 from 78. Japan added $1.3m from 343 for a formidable $64.5m running total after seven weekends.

DreamWorks Animation’s Puss In Boots grossed $7.1m from 3,967 venues in 59 markets for $358.7m. It opened top in Finland on $441,000 from 117 sites for DreamWorks Animation’s second biggest debut of all time behind Shrek The Third.

Academy-Award frontrunner Hugo grossed $2.7m from 825 outlets for an early $15.4m outside the US and Canada. The sole opening was in Mexico, where the children’s tale brought in $835,000 from 375 to rank third. Australia generated a further $1.6m from 213 for $6.5m after three. Young Adult stands at an early $1.3m.

  • Warner Bros Pictures International (WBPI) reported that Sherlock Holmes 2 grossed $17.3m from more than 7,300 screens in 58 markets, resulting in a $287.1m running total that tracks 14% ahead of its predecessor by the same stage.

The action adventure opened top in France on a magnificent $6.6m from 620 and has reached $40m in the UK, $28.4m in Russia, $25m in Italy, $19.3m in Germany, $18.5m in Australia and $17.7m in China. The first Sherlock went on to gross $315m. The next major opening is Japan on Mar 12.

There was an impressive second weekend for Journey 2 as the adventure pulled in an estimated $7m from only eight markets to boost the early running total to an excellent $24.2m. Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore all held well.

  • Underworld: Awakening grossed an estimated $16m through Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) from 3,450 screens in 47 markets to boost the early running total to a promising $40m.

Leading the way was a $2.8m number one launch in Australia on 274 screens followed by a $2.5m number two hold in Russia from 635 for $9.9m after two weekends. There was a $2m number two launch in Spain on 399 and a $1.9m number one debut in Mexico on 433.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo took another big step towards $100m, pulling in a further $10.8m from 4,685 in 60 for $86.7m. France generated $1.8m from 521 in the second weekend for third place and a $5.8m tally.

The UK has delivered $18.3m after five weekends and Russia has produced $11m after four. Dragon Tattoo opened in Brazil in fourth place on $960,000 from 217.

The Adventures Of Tintin has generated $198.2m through SPRI territories and $75.3m through PPI for a running total of at least $273.5m that does not include a handful of independent distributors.

  • The Descendants is roaring along and Fox International reported another great weekend as the Oscar nominee grossed $15.6m from 2,507 screens from 33 markets for a $26.9m running total.

The drama opened in second place in the UK on $2.8m from 403 and did the same in France on $1.7m from 235. It also opened well in Germany and Brazil, taking $1.6m from 248 for third place and $1.1m from 148 for fourth or fifth in the rankings, respectively.

The Descendants held well in the third weekend in Australia as $2.6m from 245 boosted the tally to a terrific $9.9m. It stayed in pole position in Spain in the second weekend as $2.2m from 323 raised the score to $5.7m.

Alvin & the Chipmunks 3 added $6.8m from 4,623 screens from 46 markets for $182.7m and held well in Brazil on $1.5m for $20.9m after four weekends. The Darkest Hour stands at $41.6m and We Bought A Zoo has reached $22.7m.

  • Universal’s thriller Contraband added $1.7m from 920 venues in 20 territories for an early $6.7m running total through UPI.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which UPI is distributing in Australia and New Zealand, grossed an estimated $1.7m from 185 sites in the two territories for $4.3m.

UPI handles The Grey in Russia and reported a $1.2m debut day-and-date with North America on $1.2m from 347 for third place.

Tower Heist stands at $66.1m while the German title Rubbeldiekatz has amassed $19m in German-speaking Europe and $17.7m in Germany. Jonny English Reborn has grossed $156m and scored Rowan Atkinson’s second biggest ever launch in Venezuela on $152,000 from 58 venues.

  • Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International’s Beauty And The Beast 3D stands at $4.7m while DreamWorks’ drama War Horse has reached $35.4m.