Sony/Constantin’s action-thriller Resident Evil: Afterlife blew away its international competition on its debut weekend, grossing twice as much as its nearest rival.

The fourth film in the Resident Evil series took $41.7m from 3,935 screens at a decent average of $10,598 in 33 territories. The videogame adaptation has proven particularly popular overseas, with steady box office increases from each instalment and a consistent 60% of the worldwide gross.

Resident Evil opens in Germany, South Korea and Brazil this weekend, in France the following weekend and in Australia on 14 Oct. The latest instalment has a good chance of becoming the franchise’s biggest earner after Resident Evil took $62m in 2002, Resident Evil Apocalypse $78m in 2004 and Resident Evil: Extinction made $97m in 2007.

Eros’ action-thriller Dabangg did fantastic business on its opening weekend, taking $20m from 1063 screens in 18 territories at an average of $18,838. Trade analysts in India have widely reported that the film has taken the biggest ever opening-day and weekend hauls at the local box office. Dabangg has 2010 hits My Name is Khan ($37m) and 3 Idiots ($52m) in its sights. On international debut the film has already taken $7m more than 3 Idiots on its opening.

Disney’s fantasy adventure The Sorcerer’s Apprentice moved up four places to eighth after strong holdovers in Spain ($1.5m), Australia ($1.2m) and Germany ($1.1m). 

Despicable Me was the week’s biggest improver after moving up 13 places on the international chart from 19th to sixth. Universal’s animation-comedy opened top in Australia on $3m and improved its weekly performance by 146%. Despicable Me currently stands on $82m but is sure to cross the $100m mark with key openings to come in Germany (30 Sep), Spain (8 Oct), France (13 Oct), UK (15 Oct) and Japan (29 Oct).

Fox’s comedy Vampires Suck moved from 18th to 12th after debuting top in Germany on $3.2m. The spoof has taken $13.2m total.

Japanese hit Karrigurashi Arriety (The Borrowers) jumped ten places to 16th on the chart after a second place opening in South Korea. Toho’s animated-fantasy has grossed over $100m in Japan but was beaten out in South Korea by local thriller and opener Troubleshooter, which took $3.6m from its sole territory release.

On its debut weekend Wild Bunch’s Of Gods And Men entered in 18th position after taking $3.5m from 280 screens at a per-print average of $12,363.