Avatar recorded the sixth highest day-and-date launch in history as Fox International’s epic adventure grossed an estimated $165.2m from 64 markets.

Combined with the $77m North American debut, James Cameron’s film has amassed $242.2m worldwide in its first weekend and should see Fox International past the $2bn mark by Monday. Fox International will become the second company this year after Sony Pictures Releasing International to achieve the feat and only the sixth in history to do so.

Fox sources said based on early market-by-market analysis this was the highest non-franchise, non-sequel launch ever recorded. In the company’s widest launch to date Avatar played on 14,604 screens, of which an industry record 3,671 showed the film in 3D. Avatar’s launch had long been regarded as a litmus test for the format and results were encouraging as 3D accounted for roughly 25% of the total screen count and brought in 56% of the gross. It should not be forgotten that heatre owners charge premiums on 3D tickets.

This was the fourth highest day-and-date launch of an extraordinary international year behind $237.1m for Warner Bros Pictures International’s Harry Potter 6, $166.2m for Sony Pictures Releasing International’s 2012 (adjusted for markets), and $165.4m for Paramount/PPI’s Transformers 2. The all-time mark remains $251m set by Pirates Of The Caribbean 3 in 2007.

There was a new record for IMAX, too, rounding off a strong year for that company. Avatar played on 58 IMAX screens internationally and set the highest grossing opening weekend on $4m and recorded IMAX’s first $1m-plus single-day gross on Sunday.

The opening weekend grosses in descending order:

Russia — $20.8m from 1,327 screens.
353 3D screens – 27% of total screen count, 54% of total box office.
Second highest industry launch behind Fox’s Ice Age 3

France – $20.3m from 1,083 for 60% market share
450 3D screens – 41.5% of screens, 70% of total box office.
Second highest Fox launch behind Star Wars: EP3

UK – $14.1m from 1,130
456 3D screens – 40% of screens, 76% of total box office.

Germany – $13.2m (€8.8m) from 1,128 for 58% market share.
350 3D screens – 31% of screens, 70% of total box office.

Australia – $11.9m from 588.
264 3D screens – 45% of screens, 68% of total box office.
Third highest Fox launch, including previews, behind The Simpsons and Stars Wars: EP3

Spain – $10.9m from 789 for 65% market share.
225 3D screens (28.5% of screens) generated 48% of total box office.
Highest Fox launch excluding previews

South Korea – $101.4m from 860.
116 3D screens – 13.5% of screens, 31% of total box office.
Highest Fox launch

Mexico– $6.2m from 1,491.
241 3D screens – 16% of screens, 46% of total box office.
Third highest Fox launch

Brazil – $5.4m from 742.
16% 3D screens, 36% of total box office.
Third highest Fox launch behind Ice Age 3 and Wolverine.

India – $4.7m from 758.
54 3D screens – 7% of screens, 26% of total box office.
Highest Fox launch

Taiwan– $3.6m from 254
254 3D screens – 44% of screens, 75% of total box office.
Highest Fox launch.

Sweden– $2.1m from 145.
22 3D screens – 15% of screens, 36% of total box office.
Highest Fox launch

  • Elsewhere, Avatar grossed $1.9m from 145 in Holland for the second highest Fox launch in history; $2m from 102 in Denmark for Fox’s highest launch; $2.1m from 69 in Hong Kong (where 3D was on 90% of the screens and accounted for 97% of total box office) for the highest Fox launch; $1.9m from 400 in Thailand for Fox’s highest launch; $1.7m from 196 in Belgium; $1.9m from 128 in Switzerland; $1.6m from 79 in Singapore for Fox’s highest launch; $1.4m from 129 in Norway.
  • The film took $1.3m from 185 in Malaysia for the highest Fox launch ever; $1.4m from 144 in Austria; $1.2m from 91 in New Zealand for third highest Fox launch; $1.2m from 298 in The Philippines; $1.1m from 129 in Chile for the highest non-sequel and December industry launches; $1.1m from 147 in Indonesia for Fox’s highest launch and fifth highest industry launch; $1.03m from 53 in the UAE for the highest Fox launch; and in another record Fox launch, $155,000 in Vietnam from 17 including two 3D screens for 26% of total box office.

Summit International’s New Moon added $11m from 6,202 screens in 67 territories for $381.9m. The film has amassed $42.8m in the UK, $36m in France, $32m in Germany, $31.8m in Australia, $28.8m in Spain, $24.5m in Brazil, $18.4m in Russia, $17.8m in Mexico, and $11.4m in South Korea.

Sony Pictures Releasing International’s 2012 grossed a further $9.3m from 6,350 screens in 77 markets for $574.1m. Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs added $1.8m from 905 in 27 for $75m.

  • Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International’s A Christmas Carol added $6.3m from 1,650 sites in 44 territories for $159.1m, while The Princess And The Frog added $5.7m from 2,250 sites in 11 territories in its second weekend for $15.8m.
  • Up added $4.4m from 1,868 in 21 for $409.8m and will overtake Ratatouille by the middle of the week to become Pixar’s second highest overseas grosser. Old Dogs grossed $1.5m from 1,200 in ten for $15.7m.

Warner Bros Pictures International’s German title Zweiohrkuken added $3.8m in Germany from 907 screens nationwide and has amassed $24.3m. Where The Wild Things Are added $2.7m from 1,526 screens in ten markets, for $10.4m.

Ninja Assassin stands at $1m from 975 screens in 19 territories for $19.3m. In its second weekend in South Africa Invictus added $155,000 from 73 screens nationwide for $567,000.

PPI launched Broken Embraces in Australia, reporting $111,000 from 23 sites. The international running total including UPI territories stands at $32m. Celda 221 continued to perform strongly in Spain, grossing $501,000 from 219 locations in its seventh weekend of release for a $12m running total. Law Abiding Citizen added $477,000 from 314 sites in the UK for $9m.

Universal/UPI’s Public Enemies added $900,000 from 324 sites in Japan for $4.5m after nine weekends. The international running total stands at $113.4m.

The Mexican family film Nikte opened in Mexico on $400,000 from 423 sites and ranked fifth. Latest figures from UPI put The Invention Of Lying on $13.4m, Inglourious Basterds on $198.3m, and A Serious Man on an industry-wide $7m.