After an uninspiring US performance ($30.1m) and a generally lacklustre international performance to date (approximately $22m) Buena Vista International's supernatural romantic thriller, Dragonfly is causing a stir with a strong performance late in its international run, in Spain.

With an impressive total gross of $4.22m (Euros 4.3m) after its third weekend on release the film ranks behind just Spider-Man ($15.5m), Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones ($11m), Ice Age ($5.8m) and The Sum Of All Fears ($4.24m) in terms of total gross after 17 days during the Spanish summer (Releases from beginning of May to end of of August).

The performance outstrips many of the season's would-be blockbusters for the same time period including: Scooby-Doo ($3.8m), Lilo & Stitch ($3.7m) and Stuart Little 2 ($3.5m) - all of which, along with those ranking ahead of Dragonfly, played on more screens.

The success for the film flies in the face of its other European performances. In Italy it managed to take $3.2m; France saw admissions of 461,233 provide a $2.4m gross; Germany claimed $1.9m; while the UK saw a pitiful $260,285 (£168,144).

The current highest grossing international territory for the film is another Spanish-speaking country, Mexico, where Dragonfly grossed $4.5m (Pesos 45m). The Spanish tally should easily surpass this with the film still ranked second in the local chart.

Buena Vista International Spain assistant general manager Alvaro Zapata explains the company emphasised the film's more emotional aspects, marketing it as a "mystery with an unexpected ending" and targeting middle- and upper-middle class adult audiences of primarily women - capitalising on a "programming gap" during August of films targeting female audiences. A strategy that has clearly paid off.

Another reason could be the supernatural theme of the film. The Others (released in 2001 for a $26.6m total gross) and The Sixth Sense (2000, $25.8m) are positioned at four and five in the chart of Spain's all-time highest earners.

Whatever the reason, Dragonfly's Spanish performance should give star Kevin Costner reason to smile.

Costner has struggled in recent years to find a hit that measures up to his late-80s and early 90s output when The Untouchables took an international tally of $110m and was followed by JFK ($135m), Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves ($225m) and Dances With Wolves ($240m). After 1997's The Postman, which managed just $9.4m internationally, only 1999's Message In A Bottle ($66m) has provided the Hollywood star with a sizeable international hit. His previous effort to Dragonfly, 3000 Miles To Graceland, failed even to gain a theatrical release in many international territories after a weak performance of just $15.7m in the US.

Additional reporting by Jennifer Green in Madrid.