The Dany Boon-directed comedy Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'Tis has overtaken Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith with the all-time best opening weekend in Paris and its environs.

The film, which is set in the north of France and whose title refers to the local denizens, has sold 604,126 tickets in Paris since its debut last Wednesday. Further, the film has now surpassed the record set by Patrice Leconte's Les Bronzes 3 Amis Pour La Vie in 2006 for the all-time best opening weekend in France with 3.586m admissions.

Released by Pathe, the film had its premiere in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Somme regions one week prior to its national release and with those figures mixed in has now sold4.14m tickets.

Ch'Tis is expected to bring in at least 12m moviegoers according to reports and looks to be one of the surprise French hits of the year. Dates in late January and early-to-mid February have become a typical proving ground for local breakouts. France's biggest earner in 2007, La Vie En Rose, was released in February as was Les Bronzes in 2006 which went on to be number one overall at the box office for the year.

Ch'Tis stars local comic favorites Boon and Kad Merad.