A remarkable $13.6m number one launch in China drove Inception back to the top of the studio roster overseas as the film crossed $400m.

Warner Bros Pictures International’s sci-fi thriller added an estimated $24.4m from 8,200 screens in 60 markets in the eighth weekend of release to elevate the tally to $418.9m, according to official figures released on Monday [6].

The Chinese debut produced the fourth biggest opening weekend in history behind Avatar (seven days) and the first two Transformers films, both of which opened over five days at the height of summer.

Inception added a further $1m in Germany in its sixth weekend for $30.9m, while latest figures put the UK as the biggest territory on $52.4m after eight, followed by Japan on $38.7m after seven.

After seven weeks the film has amassed $36.5m in France, $31.4m in South Korea, $29.7m in Australia, $21.3m in Russia and $8.9m in Mexico. Spain and Brazil have generated $18.2m and $8.4m after five, respectively. Italy will be the final major market on September 24.

It is understood that The Expendables, which was sold overseas through Nu Image, may have grossed more than Inception . Results were unavailable at time of writing.

Cats & Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore added $3.7m from nearly 3,328 screens in 48 territories for an estimated cumulative total of $50.4m. The family film is scheduled to arrive in Australia on September 16, South Korea on September 16, and Italy on September 17.

  • Angelina Jolie continues to pull the crowds in overseas as Sony Pictures Releasing International reported a $9.2m weekend from 4,000 screens in 64 markets for Salt, elevating the spy thriller to  $147m.

Highlights included a $2.2m number one hold in the second weekend in France from 542 for $8m, and $1.3m from 302 in Australia for $9.2m. The film added $840,000 in the UK from 397 for $9m after three weekends, and $800,000 in Germany from 507 for $6m after the same amount of time. The film stands at $22.4m in Japan after six and $6.6m in Spain after three.

The Karate Kid added $8.4m from 3,365 in 44 for $157.2m and took $1.9m in the second weekend in Spain from 468 for $7.9m. It added $1.6m in Brazil from 377 for $4.6m after two and launched in Italy in third place on $1.1m from 326. Japan has delivered $13.6m after six weeks.

Grown Ups added $4.1m from 2,080 in 54 markets to reach $78.1m and added $1.5m in its second weekend in the UK from 413 for $6.7m.

  • DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek Forever After has become the highest grossing film in the Shrek franchise overseas as a further $4.7m through PPI from 2,661 sites in 61 territories raised the running total to $480.7m, compared to Shrek 2’s final gross of $478.5m and Shrek the Third’s $476.2m.

Most of the action came from the second weekend in Italy, where Shrek Forever After stayed top on $2.8m from 472 for $13.4m.

Last weekend’s champion The Last Airbender grossed $8.7m from 5,101 sites in 52 international markets for $138.8m. The family adventure opened top in Poland on $451,000 from 92 and added $2.3m in its second weekend in Mexico for $8.6m. Germany grossed $1.2m in its third weekend for $11.4m.

Australian production Tomorrow When The War Began opened top in Australia and New Zealand on $3.7m from 230 and $271,000 from 5,3 respectively. This was the third highest launch for an Australian production in Australia, a result that will please Inferno Entertainment, which holds international rights and commences talks with buyers in Toronto later this week.

Dinner for Schmucks grossed $1.5m from 477 locations in three markets for an early $1.9m score. The biggest contribution came from the UK where it opened on $1.3m from 428 locations.

  • Toy Story 3 generated $7.4m from 4,601 theatres in 44 territories in its twelfth weekend as the running total climbed to $621.4m. It is now the eleventh biggest international release in history, the fifth biggest global release, the biggest animated title of all time, and the biggest global release of 2010 to date on $1.029bn.

The film jumped back to the top of the pile in Japan where it added $1.6m and has now taken $120m (¥10.3bn) and ranks only behind Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo on ¥11bn as the second biggest Western release in the territory.

Other key drivers for weekend business were Scandinavia on $1.7m and the UK on $1.2m for $108m (£69.5m). Toy Story 3 is the second biggest film ever to be released in the UK.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice grossed $7.4m from 3,296 in 41 territories for $114.4m. The family adventure opened top in Spain and Germany on $2.3m from 265 and $1.8m from 545, respectively. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice opens next week in Australia and China.

  • Step Up 3D added $7.1m from 2,658 venues from 34 territories through Universal and Summit International for $82.6m. Universal territories have amassed $30.9m.

Universal/UPI’s Despicable Me added $2.9m from 1,330 in 30 for $74.1m and opened top in the Philippines on an outstanding $840,000 from 73 locations. There are 34 more territories to go including most of Europe. The film arrives in Australia next weekend.

Get Him To The Greek added $2m from 700 in ten for $25m and debuted in third place in Germany on $1.7m from 372 dates. Scott Pilgrim Vs The World stands at $9.6m following a $1.4m haul from 760 sites. The UK tally is $5.2m after two weekends. The Expendables, which Universal is distributing in Spain, grossed $200,000 $5.2m after four weeks.

Charlie St Cloud grossed $180,000 from 277 locations in Russia, Croatia, Trinidad and Hungary and raised the early international total to $700,000.

  • Fox International’s Avatar: Special Edition rolled out across an additional seven markets and earned $3.8m from 1,981 screens in a total of 20 markets. After 11 days the re-release has taken $10.3m, raising the overall tally to $2.008bn.

Vampires Suck sunk its teeth into Mexico, earning $800,000 from 405, and Russia, taking $723,000 from 301. The early international running total stands at $6.7m.

On the local language front, Fox Brazil scored a hit launch with Nosso Lar, earning $3.5m from 443 screens and a clear number one in the market. The three-day opening is 5% above Se Eu Fosse Voce 2, the biggest local film of all-time in Brazil. In Spain, Fox released the local title Lope in third place on $875,000.

Predators took $1.2m from 1,475 screens in 25 markets for $71.3m, Marmaduke stands at $43.8m, The A-Team $98.1m, and Knight And Day $152.6m with Italy and Japan still to come.