The Twilight Saga: New Moon, licensed overseas by Summit International, has got off to a flying start overseas, opening top in France on $4.4m from 751 screens and drawing 488,000 on its first day. By comparison Twilight mustered $1.2m on its first day.

Australia reported the highest grossing midnight screenings since Star Wars: Episode 3’s $1.2m in May 2005, taking $1.6m from 466 by the end of its first day.

In Italy the film grossed $2.7m from 625 on Wednesday with some screens still to report, making this the third highest Wednesday launch ever behind Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix.

Spain generated $2.2m from 652 in what was also the third highest Wednesday launch, trailing only Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix and Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince.

New Moon launches in 25 markets this weekend, and although that is only oughly one-quarter the number of territories that Sony’s leviathan 2012 remains active in, the romantic supernatural tale will pack an immense punch.

Indeed the early first day estimates indicate the scope of what is believed to be the most concentrated release yet of an independent film. Most international markets will launch New Moon between now and December 4, including Japan. Overall the film will arrive in 75 territories.

New Moon also opens this weekend in the UK, Mexico, Brazil, CIS, Switzerland, Argentina, Benelux, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Poland, Scandinavia, Thailand and Turkey.

An intriguing battle will play out this weekend with 2012. Roland Emmerich’s disaster movie has raced to $227m in less than a week and more than $300m worldwide since its record breaking $166.2m international launch and is expected to play very strongly in all its markets heading into the second weekend.

However if any film can give 2012 a run for its money it is New Moon, this most eagerly awaited of sequels that comes a year after Twilight broke out in North America. New Moon opens in North America on November 20. Twilight grossed $192m overseas and $191m domestically for a $384m worldwide tally.

Meanwhile IM Global has released grosses from Paranormal Activity’s initial international foray and reported the film has taken roughly $3m so far. The horror film grossed $1.9m in CIS through Warner Bros on November 4 and took $360,000 from sneak previews in the UK through Icon.

Upcoming wide launches will see the film will open in the UK on November 25, Germany through Wild Bunch on November 26, Zeta Pictures in Spain on November 27, Korea Screens in South Korea also on November 27, Wild Bunch in France on December 2, Icon in Australia on December 3, PlayArte in Brazil on December 4, and Gussi in Mexico on December 11.

Japan’s Presidio and Hong Kong’s Intercontinental are opening the film in the first quarter of 2010. 

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International’s A Christmas Carol has reached $36.2m and opens in a further 19 territories including Russia, Poland and Belgium.

UPI’s Inglourious Basterds open in Japan on November 20 and stands at $188.2m, while Broken Embraces and The Soloist touch down in South Korea on November 19, and the Coen Brothers’ A Serious Man reaches Australia and New Zealand on November 19 and the UK a day later.

Amelia has taken more than $526,000 from the early stages of release and touches down through Fox International in Spain on November 20. Fantastic Mr Fox has amassed $12,624,935 in the UK alone.