The back end of the Hollywood winter blockbuster season is an opportunity for independents to make a significant dent in Screen's international box-office chart. And, following a hugely successful Christmas, it is the Italians leading the way with new entry L'Allenatore Nel Pallone 2, distributed by Medusa Films.

Sergio Martino's football comedy is a belated follow-up to his 1984 original but has scored at the box office with help from some of the country's biggest sporting heroes. Alessandro Del Piero, Gennaro Gattusso and Marco Materazzi are among the appearances from some of the national team that won the world cup in 2006, contributing to the film's feelgood appeal.

The film took $5,884,494 from 510 screens, signalling a good start to a year in which Italy is hoping to consolidate on a fantastic 2007. Last year was one of the best on record in the territory, with around 115 million tickets sold, up more than 12% on 2006.

Another new Italian film also made it into the top 20. Cristina Comencini's Black And White (Bianco E Nero) took $2,562,174 from 280 screens.

The two other international new entrants in the top 20 were from South Korea, both performing solely in their home territory.

Opening highest was Sidus' Women's Team Handball, directed by Yim Soon-rye, which opened across 440 screens for a strong screen average of $9,940 and takings totalling $4,373,537.

Following closely behind is action film Open City, which ended the weekend with $3,230,539. With CJ Entertainment distributing, the film took a screen average of $9,024 across 358 screens.

The other new entry in the top 20 was 20th Fox's 27 Dresses, gaining its position with the strongest screen average of the week at $12,980. With Anne Fletcher directing, Knocked Up's Katherine Heigl stars as a young woman who is always the bridesmaid and never the bride. The film grossed $3,115,104 across 240 screens.

Warner Bros' I Am Legend again tops the chart and is now playing in 44 territories.

week)Film (origin)gross $ScrsCume $Terr
1(1)I Am Legend (US)$40,177,2664951$221,522,62144
2(2)National Treasure: Book of Secrets (US)$14,909,4014553$127,044,11538
3(7)Alien Vs Predator: Requiem (US)$13,607,6444340$53,197,58544
4(4)Alvin And The Chipmunks (US)$10,105,6633656$80,892,10144
5(3)The Golden Compass (US-UK)$8,633,9265,633$245,728,61943
6(5)Enchanted (US)$8,123,9824348$151,499,79143
7(11)American Gangster (US)$6,892,6931771$81,547,57438
8(6)Bee Movie (US)$6,768,2784049$142,298,78145
9NewL'Allenatore Nel Pallone 2 (It)$5,884,494510$5,884,4941
10(9)Keinohrhasen (Ger)$5,216,169690$30,767,2493
11(25)Atonement (UK-Fr-US)$4,836,624861$43,852,39422
12NewWomen's Team Handball (S Kor)$4,373,537440$5,194,1881
13(10)P.S. I Love You (US)$4,260,283971$20,156,9109
14(*)Earth (Fr)$3,417,796330$19,127,9863
15(8)The Irony Of Fate 2 (Rus)$3,459,693829$49,252,9335
16(*)Charlie Wilson's War (US)$3,316,189518$4,055,2326
17NewOpen City (S Kor)$3,230,539358$3,809,5211
18New27 Dresses (US)$3,115,104240$3,115,1041
19NewBlack And White (It)$2,562,174280$2,562,1741
20(*)Into The Wild (US)$2,343,729237$5,834,1116
21(20)The Warlords (HK)$2,080,591486$38,770,7146
22(16)St Trinian's (UK)$2,019,200385$18,091,7231
23NewSeason Of Snow (Jap)$1,747,793266$1,747,7931
24(22)Arn ... Knight Templar (Swe)$1,715,925280$13,274,9733
25(18)Hitman (UK-Fr-US)$1,646,0131141$54,541,07210
26(*)30 Days Of Night (US)$1,611,530569$25,513,52014
27NewCilgin Dersane Kampta (Tur)$1,504,736213$1,504,7361
28(40)The Kite Runner (US)$1,477,970342$4,769,7074
29(*)The Mist (US)$1,445,989211$5,476,4336
30(55)The Water Horse (US)$1,400,785547$4,459,6243
31(23)A Tale Of Mari And Three Puppies$1,371,835325$24,042,7831
32(15)Halloween (US)$1,366,789464$19,245,2502
33(26)The Darjeeling Limited (US)$1,301,054359$8,527,06112
34(*)Dan In Real Life (US)$1,276,981399$3,082,6514
35NewMaskeli Besler: Kibris (Tur)$1,255,608233$1,473,9271
36(13)The Fox And The Child (Fra)$1,254,1991,026$19,317,6896
37(36)Meu Nome Nao E Johnny (Bra)$1,191,986171$2,937,0051
38(*)Rendition (US)$1,171,176403$10,701,0977
39(28)Love In The Time Of Cholera (US)$1,083,834679$13,222,9069
40(30)Lust, Caution (Tai-HK)$1,070,081313$53,154,0557
* Re-entry (c) Screen International, compiled by Leonard Klady