Inception was finally forced to cede authority to another film as Paramount/PPI’s The Last Airbender ruled the waves over the weekend thanks to an estimated $18m haul from 5,843 sites in 51 territories that boosted the running total to $120m.

The largest contribution came from the $4m number one debut in Mexico from 812. Initial estimates in China report a $2.6m launch from 1,500 locations.

The film also opened to an outstanding $650,000 in Peru from 47 venues. Elsewhere, there were strong holds in Germany ($2.5m from 597 for $9m), South Korea ($2.1m from 313 for $9.6m), and Brazil ($1.5m from 260 for $5m.

Shrek Forever After added $10.5m from 4,585 in 61 for a magnificent $470m. The film opened top in Italy on $6.7m from 610, including $2.5m in previews.

PPI launched DreamWorks’ comedy remake Dinner For Schmucks overseas and reported a $250,000 haul in the Netherlands from 49 venues. How to Train Your Dragon took $406,000 in its third weekend in Japan from 297 locations for $9.1m. The international cumulative total stands at $274m.

  • Avatar crossed $2bn overseas after Fox International released an extended version of James Cameron’s sci-fi action adventure. Avatar: Special Edition added an estimated $4.5m from 1,232 screens in 14 markets to bring the revitalized international running total to $2.002bn.

The new iteration features an extra nine minutes of previously unseen footage and further consolidated Avatar’s status as the highest grossing film in history. The film took $1.2m in second place in Russia from 313 screens for $117.4m.

South Korea generated $954,724 from 149 for $109.4m, the UK $899,922 from 343, India $308,190 from 88 for $28.2m. Each release was generally limited to one or two shows per market. Avatar: Special Edition will roll out in a further seven markets next weekend including France, Germany and Holland.

  • Salt grossed $15.9m through Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) from 4,450 screens in 63 markets for a highly promising $131.2m running total. The Angelina Jolie spy thriller opened top in France on $4.7m from 545 and stayed top in its second weekend in Australia after adding $2.3m from 365 for $7.2m.

The film added $1.5m in the UK from 468 for $6.9m after two and $1.4m in Spain from 430 for $5.3m after two. Japanese audiences are clearly enjoying Jolie in this role and have rewarded the film with $21.5m after five weekends, making it far and away the biggest market so far.

The Karate Kid added $13.9m from 3,723 in 38 for $143.7m and inspired two number one debuts in major markets – $4.7m in Spain from 494 and $2.3m in Brazil from 378. France delivered $2.5m from 529 for $7.1m after two. Japan again is the biggest market to date on $11.8m after five weekends.

Rounding out a fine weekend for SPRI was Grown Ups, which grossed $7.6m from 2,380 in 49 for $69.7m. The comedy opened top in the UK on $3.2m from 422 and has amassed $15.9m in Germany after six weekends.

  • Inception stayed on course to cross $400m through Warner Bros Pictures International as $17m from 5,870 screens in 63 markets elevated the running total to $387m.

The sci-fi thriller debuted well in first place in Greece on $1.5m from 150 including previews and elsewhere secured a series of impressive holds. It added $1.6m in France for $34.5m after six weekends, $1.3m in Germany for $29.2m after five, $1.2m in Spain for $16.6m after four, and $1m in the UK for $50.8m after seven weekends.

In its sixth weekends the film managed $1m in Australia for $28.5m, $900,000 in Japan for $37.1m, and $800,000 in South Korea for $30.6m. Russia has generated $21m and Mexico $8.5m, while Brazil stands at $7.5m after four. Inception is scheduled to launch in China on September 2 followed by Italy on September 24.

Cats And Dogs 2 delivered $4.7m from 4,045 screens in 49 markets for $44.1m. Upcoming releases include Brazil on September 3, Australia and South Korea on September 16 and Italy on September 17.

  • The phenomenal Toy Story 3 crossed $600m internationally, two days after becoming the first animated film in history to reach the $1bn global milestone [August 27], as an estimated $12.7m from 5,261 screens in 41 territories pushed the latest tally to $606.4m.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International said the release was its fourth to cross $600m overseas and only the 14th in industry history to do so. It currently ranks as the 14th biggest international release and the sixth biggest global performer on $1.012bn.

The weekend result was powered by strong holds in Japan, the UK and France, as well as a quartet of Scandinavian launches that generated $3.7m from 445 screens. This was a new record for a Disney animated release in the region and individually the film topped the charts in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

Toy Story 3 remained the top US release in Japan after $3m (¥255m) from 482 raised the tally to $115m (¥10bn) to close the gap on Finding Nemo(¥11bn) as the second biggest Western animation in the territory.

It added $2.3m (£1.5m) in the UK from 820 for $104.7m (£67.5m) and should have enough momentum to overtake Mamma Mia (£69.1m) and Titanic (£69m) to become the second biggest release in the territory behind Avatar. Toy Story 3 added $1.2m in France from 628 for $34.6m.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice became Disney’s 70th title to cross $100m as $5.5m from 3,667 screens in 40 territories brought the latest total to $103.4m. It added $1.5m in France from 546 for $10.1m.

The final push begins next weekend when German-speaking Europe and Spain receive the film, followed a week later by Australia and China.

  • Step Up 3D grossed $11.1m from 2,494 venues from 30 Universal and Summit International territories to boost the running total to $70.8m after four weekends in release. The film debuted in Germany on $3.7m from 371 and was vying for number one at time of writing.

It added $3.4m from 853 sites in Universal’s five territories to raise the Universal tally to $27.7m. France held strong at number six on $1.8m from 293 for $5.3m after 12 days. The film has grossed $11.7m in the UK after four weekends and is the highest in the series in Australia on $8.4m after the same amount of time. ‪‬

  • Universal/UPI’s Scott Pilgrim Vs The World took in a further $3.3m from 966 venues in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Russia to more than double the early international tally to $6.2m. The comic book adaptation opened in the UK in fourth place on $2.5m from 406 and added $430,000 in Australia from 171 for $2.4m after three weekends.

Despicable Me added $2.8m from 1,330 venues in 26 territories for $70m. The top holdover was Brazil on $750,000 from 246 for $10.3m after four weekends, while Mexico has generated $18.1m.

The Expendables, which Universal is distributing in Spain, had a good third weekend, holding at number seven with an estimated $400,000 from 260 sites for $4.8m.

Get Him To The Greek opened in Spain in eighth place on $305,000 from 250. The overall running total stands at $23m and there are 15 territories to go over the next several months including France on September 1, Germany on September 2, and Austria on September 3.

Charlie St Cloud added $280,000 from 255 sites in Russia, Croatia and Trinidad. Still in its infancy, the film will launch around the world over the next five months.

  • Fox International’s Predators added $3.1m from 1,453 in 28 territories for $68.7m and launched in Spain in third place on $1.2m from 302. The A-Team brought in a further $2.3m from 1,406 in 14 for $95.5m. Knight And Day stands at $151.3m, Marmaduke $41.3m, Vampires Suck an early $3.1m, and Diary Of A Wimpy Kid $1.9m. It opened in the UK on $1m from 375.