Global box office takings took a slight dip of 2.9% this week in comparison to the same week last year and fell by less than 1% from last week, according to the Screen International Screen Index.

The marginal decrease was led by year-on-year falls in major territories such as Germany, Japan, South Korea and North America. The market was saved from any significant plummet due to substantial increases in Italy, UK, Mexico, France and Spain.

German cinemas fell by 13.3% this week despite Oscar-nominated Blood Diamond and French success Arthur And The Invisibles both opening at the weekend and taking $1.64m and $1.06m respectively. While Sony's The Pursuit of Happyness held on to the number one spot and grossed over $2m, this was no match for last year's animated adventure Chicken Little which generated a sizable $3.3m in its opening week.

Japan also fell by 12.2% this week. Despite this weekend's local opener Dororo grossing $3.7m this weekend, this was down 28% on last year's number one Flightplan and down 11% on last year's local The Wow-Choten Hotel which entered second in the chart.

South Korea decreased by 10.8% overall compared to the same week in 2006 revealing that while local films still have box office success - half of the top ten this week are Korean films - last year was largely carried by the enormous success of My Boss, My Teacher and King And The Clown which took $5.4m and $4.3m respectively in the same week last year.

North America also fell by 7.2% compared to last year. Although Twentieth Century Fox took the top spot with this week's comedy Epic Movie, it failed to achieve 'epic' status as it was unable match last year's top film Big Momma's House 2, which took $27m in its first week.

But Italian cinemas are still going strong as local sequel Manuale D'Amore 2 continued to be a crowd-pleaser and grossed a whooping $5.3m in its second week. Its marked success in combination with $2.6m taken by The Pursuit Of Happyness helped boost the Italian box office takings by 27.7% year-on-year.

UK cinemas were also boosted by 19.5% this year as British audiences continued to cheer on Rocky Balboa and welcomed Oscar contender Blood Diamond - both took $3.3m and $2.9m respectively. The Pursuit Of Happyness and Night At The Museum, coming in at three and four on the chart, both crossed the $2m mark and collectively grossed 43% more than last year's third and fourth films Rumor Has It and Brokeback Mountain.