Paramount and Lucasfilms' Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull unearthed plenty of box office gold at the weekend, grossing an estimated $143m in the international marketplace and another $126m in North America.

Though it did not break any records, Crystal Skull will, if early estimates are confirmed, end up among the industry's all-time top ten openers domestically, internationally and globally.

Paramount put the performance down to good reviews and a response from audiences of all ages to the first Indiana Jones sequel in 19 years.

The $143m international take came from 12,000 screens in over 8,300 locations in 56 markets, said Paramount Pictures International (PPI), with the film opening in many markets on Wednesday or Thursday.

It was Paramount's biggest international opening ever (easily beating the $102.5m start made by War of the Worlds in 2005) and the sixth biggest international opening of all time, ranking between Star Wars: Episode III and The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

The long-awaited fourth installment of the Lucasfilm-produced adventure franchise - with Steven Spielberg back in the directing chair, Harrison Ford returning as the title character and Cate Blanchett and Shia LaBeouf co-starring - topped local charts in all its major territories.

In the UK (which has a holiday on Monday) Crystal Skull grossed an estimated $21.5m over four days from 536 locations. That was 70% more than Iron Man took during its first Friday-to-Monday run in the market, said PPI.

In France, the gross was $14.1m from 781 locations, 96% more than Iron Man.

Germany produced $12.6m from 841 locations, 262% more than Iron Man; Spain delivered $11.7mn over four days from 731 locations, 128% up on Iron Man; Korea reported $10m over four days from 619 locations, 76% better than Iron Man; Australia delivered $9m from 263 locations; Russia $8.4m from 602 locations; Italy $6.5m from 625 locations; Brazil $5.7m over four days from 257 locations; and Mexico $4.5m over four days from 426 locations.

For the North American market, Paramount on Sunday (May 25) estimated a Thursday-to-Sunday gross of $126m for the PG-13-rated film, which screened in some cinemas just after midnight on Wednesday and spread to a total of 4,260 locations over the weekend.

The studio estimated the film would take another $25m on Monday, the Memorial Day holiday in the US.

That would give Crystal Skull a three-day weekend total of $101m (the tenth biggest of all time), a four-day Memorial Day weekend take of $126m (the second biggest ever, after the $139.8m achieved this time last year by Buena Vista's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End), and an overall five-day opening of $151m (the fifth biggest ever).

The $269m global opening tally (which does not include Paramount's estimate for the Monday holiday in the US) is the fifth biggest of all time, again ranking Crystal Skull between Star Wars: Episode III and The Return of the King.

Other early estimates of North American box office takings (full estimates for the holiday weekend will not be available until Monday) put Buena Vista's The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian at $23m for the Friday-Sunday period, representing a steep 58% decline from the film's chart-topping opening last weekend.

Paramount's Iron Man appears to have held up better against Indy, dropping 37% in its fourth weekend to an estimated $20.1m for Friday-Sunday.

In the international marketplace, meanwhile, Prince Caspian opened in Japan - the only major market that did not get Crystal Skull this weekend - and grossed an estimated and chart-topping $7.7m from 324 locations, said Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International (WDSMPI).

Overall, Caspian took an estimated $18m from 3,361 screens in 13 territories over the weekend, bringing its international total to $49.1m, 11% better, said WDSMPI, than the first Narnia film at a comparable point in its roll-out. Caspian has already beaten the first film's total takes in Russia and India.

Iron Man, international leader for the last three weekends, grossed an estimated $12.5m from 8,000 prints in almost 6,000 international locations this weekend, according to PPI, one of the Marvel film's several distributors outside the US. That brought the film's total international gross to $228m - $191.5m from PPI markets, $10.8m from the single market handled by Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI), and the rest from other territories and companies.

Fox International reported the same estimated gross of $12.5m, this time from 3,800 screens in 56 markets, for What Happens In Vegas. But the studio said the final weekend figure for the film - which has now reached $77.8m internationally - could be higher.

SPRI's Made of Honor took an estimated $3.4m from 1,745 screens in 25 markets, for a total to date of $25.6m.

Speed Racer, from Warner Bros Pictures International (WBPI), dropped another 58% to gross an estimated $3m (representing 611,000 admissions) from 3,400 prints in 40 territories. International total to date for the big budget family entry stands at $29.8m.

SPRI's 21 grossed an estimated $1.8m from 1,025 screens in 37 markets, bringing its international total to $49.3m.

WBPI's The Bucket List grossed an estimated $1.2m (98,500 admissions) this weekend from 511 screens in 23 markets, for a running international total of $75.2m.

Universal's Forgetting Sarah Marshall grossed an estimated $800,000 from 515 dates in 9 territories, raising its international total to $23.2m.

Nim's Island, acquired by Universal for a parcel of territories, grossed $520,000 from 494 dates in three of those territories. The film's running total for the three Universal markets now stands at $11.1m and its total for all markets at $27m.

Universal's Definitely, Maybe grossed $115,000 from 122 dates in 15 territories (for an international total to date of $20.7m) and the studio's The Other Boleyn Girl took $105,000 from 105 dates in seven Universal territories (for a Universal total so far of $33.1m). The film's overall international total now stands at $37m.

Fox International reported takes of $430,000 from 300 screens in 15 markets for Shutter (international total to date $16.5m); $266,000 from 450 screens in 9 markets for Horton Hears A Who! (total $138m); and $263,000 from 500 screens in 13 markets for Street Kings (total $30.2m).

(Top ten estimates for the four-day North American holiday weekend will be reported on Monday.)