Russian comedy The Very Best Film (Samiy Luchshiy Film) claimed the international crown this weekend with a mammoth $17.8m opening weekend in two territories, accounting for 9% of the international top 40 revenue.

The parody, distributed through Caroprokat, enjoyed a $16.5m opening in Russia, the biggest ever in the country. It also generated $1.3m in the Ukraine, where it is distributed through Gemini Films.

Overall, the film played across 790 screens in the two territories for a whopping $22,562 screen average. Directed by Kirill Kuzin and starring Pavel Volya, Igor Kharlamov and Mikhail Galustyan, the story follows a man who suffers a mishap at his own wedding and ends up in purgatory where he has to answer for sins committed during his over-indulgent life.

Italians fall for romance

Meanwhile, Italian film Scusa Ma Ti Chiamo Amore entered the chart at number six with a $7.5m take across 491 screens in its home territory. The romance, distributed through Medusa Film, had the second-highest screen average this weekend at $15,377 per screen. It is directed by Federico Moccia and stars Raoul Bova and Luca Angeletti.

Three films from Spain generated more than $8m at the weekend, representing 4.8% of the top 40 revenue. This was spearheaded by new entry Mortadelo Y Filemon. Mision. Salvar La Tierra, which enjoyed a $4.2m take across 484 screens for a $8,656 screen average in the territory. The family film, directed by Miguel Bardem (Twelfth Night), is distributed locally through On Pictures.

Alex de la Iglesia's The Oxford Murders, based on the novel by Guillermo Martinez, fell 22% to number 24 with a $2.5m take from 267 screens. The thriller has grossed $6.6m after two weekends on release. And Wild Bunch's production The Orphanage leapt back into the chart this weekend after opening in Argentina and Columbia. The horror film was up 164% with a near $2m take across 424 screens in six territories. It boasts a $41m international tally to date.

Two Japanese films also entered the chart this weekend, taking nearly $4m between them. Toho's Flowers In The Shadow earned $2.3m from 312 screens and came second in its home territory. Shochiku's latest release, Our Mother (Kabei), was fourth in the Japanese chart, taking more than $1.5m from 326 screens for a $4,761 screen average. The two films accounted for 2.1% of the top 40 total.

Indian cinema showed its international colours this weekend with new entry Sunday, in at number 30. The romantic comedy, released through Eros International, generated $1.7m across 15 territories and played on 455 screens for a $3,808 screen average. It is the third feature from director Rohit Shetty (Golmaal: Fun Unlimited, Zameen).

German release Die Rote Zora opened at number 37 with a $1.1m take. The family adventure, distributed by Universal Pictures International in conjunction with United International Pictures, played on 392 screens for a $2,874 screen average.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros' holdover title Keinohrhasen continues its lucrative run with a $3.6m weekend take. The romantic comedy, directed by and starring Til Schweiger, fell a modest 27% to number 21 in its sixth weekend. It has grossed $41.3m to date.

And UK hit St Trinian's is still going strong in the international chart, despite having only been released in the UK. The Ealing Studios production, directed by Oliver Parker and Barnaby Thompson, fell just 20% in its sixth weekend, taking $1.3m over the weekend from 384 screens. It boasts a $22.4m international tally.

Elsewhere, Rob Reiner's The Bucket List opened in seven territories including Germany, Italy and Mexico with a near $5m weekend take, while Sylvester Stallone's latest Rambo instalment opened in 10 territories with a $3.6m take.

The top 40 films generated $181.4m across 44,113 screens for the period of January 25-27.

Analysis: International box-office Weekend January 25-27
week)Film (origin)gross $ScrsCume $Terr
1NewThe Very Best Film (Rus)$17,823,615790$17,823,6152
2(7)Sweeney Todd... (US-UK)$16,180,9661,676$29,347,87710
3(1)I Am Legend (US)$16,134,6685,085$290,173,74553
4(6)National Treasure: Book Of Secrets (US)$12,492,4713,793$158,703,90342
5(12)Cloverfield (US)$9,235,0861,309$15,049,37118
6NewScusa Ma Ti Chiamo Amore (It)$7,550,366491$7,550,3661
7(4)American Gangster (US)$7,259,9711,795$103,971,04343
8(3)Alvin And The Chipmunks (US)$7,019,0633,352$106,089,08029
9(5)P.S. I Love You (US)$6,176,1091,343$41,161,86114
10(2)Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem (US)$5,723,5902,965$79,104,28733
11NewThe Bucket List (US)$4,923,7151,030$4,954,6257
12(22)No Country For Old Men (US)$4,724,229676$11,355,5176
13(8)Enchanted (US)$4,332,7513,105$168,095,88641
14NewMortadelo Y Filemon: Mision Salvar... (Sp)$4,189,662484$4,189,6621
15(13)Atonement (UK-US-Fr)$3,876,0041,106$55,437,28230
16(10)Charlie Wilson's War (US)$3,699,9411,071$15,377,32916
17NewRambo (US)$3,634,871694$3,634,87110
18(16)Women's Team Handball (S Kor)$3,614,992437$17,289,1891
19(15)A Widow At Last (Fr)$3,454,295551$8,873,2643
20(14)Bee Movie (US)$3,404,0122,742$152,687,28241
21(11)Keinohrhasen (Ger)$3,355,455709$41,252,2173
22(18)The Kite Runner (US)$3,202,393624$13,545,15612
23(24)Into The Wild (US)$2,923,633547$11,871,9918
24(17)The Oxford Murders (Sp-UK)$2,539,667267$6,574,9061
25(9)The Golden Compass (US-UK)$2,341,2872,322$256,656,85942
26NewFlowers In The Shadow (Jap)$2,278,042312$2,278,0421
27(20)27 Dresses (US)$2,001,042317$10,692,8184
28(50)The Orphanage (Sp)$1,965,212424$40,981,0666
29(21)Earth (Ger-UK)$1,948,178328$28,826,8993
30NewSunday (Ind)$1,732,665455$1,732,66515
31(28)Juno (US)$1,593,684206$4,264,0423
32NewOur Mother (Jap)$1,552,083326$1,552,0831
33(25)Open City (S Kor)$1,473,730290$10,051,8861
34(26)Love In The Time Of Cholera (US-Col)$1,462,006601$17,832,37014
35(53)In The Valley Of Elah (US)$1,373,940362$9,400,0114
36(29)St Trinian's (UK)$1,336,073384$22,431,5681
37NewDie Rote Zora (Ger)$1,126,576392$1,126,5763
38(37)Survivre Avec Les Loups (Fr)$1,114,146235$3,033,3681
39(33)1408 (US)$1,010,696343$56,543,6717
40(27)Black And White (It)$992,973262$6,789,1661
(c) Screen International, compiled by Leonard Klady