While The Golden Compass was largely responsible for the 14.5% week-on-week increase in the international top 40, two new entries from France made their presence known taking a collective $4.3m.

Roissy Films' comedy L'Auberge Rouge was the second highest new entry, coming in at number nine with a $3.1m take. The film, directed by Gerard Krawczyk (Taxi 2, 3 and 4) played across 904 screens for a $3,398 screen average. The film opened in four territories including Russia, where it enjoyed a $771,012 take over 298 screens.

And animated adventure Tous A L'Ouest: Une Aventure De Lucky Luke opened to $1.2m at the weekend, putting it in the top 30. The film, based on the TV series from Olivier Jean Marie, played on 535 screens for a $2,268 screen average. It is released through Pathe Distribution.

Japan's A Tale Of Mari And Three Puppies was the third highest opener. The drama, based on the true story of three puppies and their mother surviving the 2004 earthquake in Yamakoshi village, generated $2.5m in its home territory. It is distributed by Toho and boasted the second highest screen average at $7,654 across 333 screens.

This, in addition to three strong holdovers released through Toho, made Japanese films accountable for 4% of the top 40 total revenue. Always: Sunset On Third Street 2 fell 29% in its sixth week to number 26. The drama, based on Ryohei Saigan's comic generated $1.3m from 288 screens for a $4,420 screen average. Sky Of Love and Sanjuro dropped 41% and 38% respectively, generating more than $2m collectively.

Eros International's romantic thriller Dus Kahaniyaan is the fifth new entry this weekend. The Indian film opened at number 23, taking nearly $1.4m across 671 screens in 17 territories for a $2,015 screen average. It is a directorial debut for Jasmeet Dhodi, who co-directs with other film-makers including Sanjay Gupta and Apoorva Lakhia.

Elsewhere, four Italian titles generated more than $5.2m, accounting for 3.7% of the chart's total revenue, while Hairspray and Mr Brooks re-entered the chart.

The top 40 international films generated $144.7m from 38,530 screens for the period December 7-9.

week)Film (origin)gross $ScrsCume $Terr
1NewThe Golden Compass (US-UK)$44,309,9275,263$50,960,60727
2(2)Enchanted (US)$11,661,0942,521$36,514,15822
3(6)Bee Movie (US)$10,906,0992,039$33,510,70321
4(1)Beowulf (US)$9,121,0554,746$91,457,17659
5(3)Hitman (UK-US-Fr)$8,212,9442,586$24,494,08938
6(5)The Heartbreak Kid (US)$5,040,1312,029$79,441,08346
7(4)American Gangster (US)$4,344,9461,575$47,283,53720
8(7)Fred Claus (US)$4,060,3551,350$13,422,65316
9NewL'Auberge Rouge (Fr)$3,071,799904$3,071,7994
10(9)August Rush (US)$2,874,541500$9,016,0993
11NewA Tale of Mari And Three Puppies (Jap)$2,548,685333$2,548,6851
12(10)Saw IV (US)$2,112,195997$51,118,06223
13(17)1408 (US)$1,964,660666$44,827,54713
14(26)One Foundation (Chi)$1,958,703300$3,916,2871
15(11)[Rec] (Sp)$1,939,663273$8,714,1411
16(12)Warum Manner Nicht Zuhoren ... (Ger)$1,902,265338$4,620,7492
17(8)Winx Club: Il Segreto Del Regno Perduto (It)$1,766,128523$5,818,6161
18(15)Matrimonio Alle Bahamas (It)$1,741,875274$14,964,6211
19(18)Seven Days (S Kor)$1,685,039270$12,246,0371
20(16)Lust, Caution (Chi-US-HK-Tai)$1,599,009466$45,166,84713
21(21)The White Angel (Tur)$1,419,200244$8,919,0805
22(14)Ratatouille (US)$1,414,3211,726$407,877,29521
23NewDus Kahaniyaan (Ind)$1,352,087671$1,352,08717
24(20)We Own The Night (US)$1,328,360405$5,893,5859
25(23)Elizabeth: The Golden Age (UK-US-Fr)$1,286,482811$33,918,46025
26(19)Always: Sunset On Third Street 2 (Jap)$1,273,019288$28,911,1921
27NewTous A L'Ouest: Une Aventure ... (Fr)$1,213,399535$1,213,3993
28(22)Sky Of Love (Jap)$1,170,618329$32,481,6971
29(*)Mr Brooks (US)$1,132,695315$17,512,7935
30(*)Hairspray (US)$1,097,117280$80,263,5994
31(25)The Nanny Diaries (US)$1,041,117273$13,586,0755
32(27)30 Days Of Night (US)$993,979775$20,498,32723
33(34)Michael Clayton (US)$964,740546$29,057,55917
34(29)Milano Palermo: Il Ritorno (It)$951,871233$5,871,6431
35(40)Le Grand Chef (S Kor)$908,470247$19,969,6893
36(31)Resident Evil: Extinction (Aus-Ger-UK-US)$905,981682$95,514,24128
37(13)Lions For Lambs (US)$905,401879$31,288,17622
38(30)Sanjuro (Jap)$875,447325$3,675,2051
39(49)Lezioni Di Cioccolato (It)$822,187212$3,397,8291
40(61)Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium (US)$822,065801$4,193,79511
(c) Screen International, compiled by Leonard Klady.