Eight major territories collectively saw box-office increases compared to the same week last year, due to the success of big-name studio films this week, according to Screen International's own Screen Index.

Italy leads the increase - the territory was up 43% after The Pursuit Of Happyness grossed $4.7m in its opening weekend, surpassing the collective total of last year's top three entries Match Point, The 40-Year Old Virgin and The New World. Boxing drama Rocky Balboa launched with $3.7m over the three-day period this year while Italian comedy Natale A New York stayed in this week's top ten, mirroring the success of the previous instalment Natale A Miami.

UK box office is up 14.5% after a solid opening from The Pursuit Of Happyness, which took nearly $5m, a significant increase on last year's major opener Jarhead which generated $3.5m in the same three-day period 2006.

French cinemas continue to reap the benefits of successful local films, a marked change from last year's box office. This week, French films generated 48% of the top ten revenue compared to merely 10% last year. Arthur And The Invisibles - which has grossed $60m to date worldwide, $40m from French cinemas - held on strong to the top spot, raking-in $7.3m in its fourth week. Local comedies Priceless (Hors de Prix), My Best Friend (Mon Meilleur Ami) and drama Le Heros De La Famille all stayed in the top ten, taking $4.8m collectively.

Rocky also proved to be champion in Spanish cinemas, grossing $3.4m in its opening weekend while new entry The Prestige cast its spell and took $1.6m, both attributing to the 26.4% boost in box office compared to last year.

Germany was also up 19% this year due to Night At The Museum's $2.7m weekend gross from 803 screens while controversial Hitler satire Mein Fuhrer saw a strong opening weekend at $2.5m from 265 screens.

But North American box office remained virtually stable in comparison to last year's figures with only a 0.1% increase. While musical drama Stomp The Yard generated $25m in its opening weekend - $8m up on last year's number one Glory Road - last year's blockbusters like King Kong, The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe showed similar strong results compared to this year's Night At The Museum and The Pursuit of Happyness.