Global box office takings of nine major territories collectively fell 9.7% year-on-year this week, pushed by dips in the French, Korean and North American markets, according to Screen International's Screen Index.

France dropped by 32.6% compared to the same week last year despite new entries from studio Oscar-nominated films. Blood Diamond took the top spot with $3.03m and The Pursuit Of Happyness came third taking $2.8m during the week. French cinemas failed to match the success of last year's takings due to the phenomenal success of Les Bronzes 3: Amis Pour La Vie - the third instalment generated a whooping $16.2m in the same week last year, more than this week's entire top ten.

South Korea also saw a decline by 17.06% compared to the equivalent weekend in 2006. While this weekend's number one, A Day For An Affair, performed well with a $2.6m opening weekend, last year's box office was still relishing in the huge success of drama King And The Clown, which

generated $2.5m in its seventh week and top film Vampire Cop Ricky, which grossed over $3.1m.

North America fell slightly by 7.5% despite top film Norbit generating 67% more than last year's number one The Pink Panther. Paramount 's Norbit took an impressive $34.2m this weekend while Sony's Panther generated $20.2m last year. The year-on-year decline could be attributable to fewer new entries at the weekend. This weekend's second highest grossing film, Hannibal Rising, saw an opening weekend figure of $13.05m while last year Final Destination 3, Curious George and Firewall all entered the top four, collectively grossing $47.5m.

But the Italian box office continues its increased activity of 2007. This weekend, the territory was up a massive 79.1% compared to the same weekend last year. Solid Hollywood products are supporting the success of this year's local films in the territory - Night At The Museum took

$3.1m in its second week while new entries Hannibal Rising and The Holiday grossed $2.8m and $1.9m respectively. Italian comedy Manuale Amore 2 continues to perform well, raking in a solid $1.1m in its fourth week.

Mexico was up by 19.7% year-on-year as Spanish-Mexican co-production KM 31 stayed at number one and took $1.3m at the weekend. Blood Diamond entered the chart at number two and took $1.1m at the weekend.

UK box office was also up. The top four films, all new entries, saw impressive weekend performance and carried its 13.3% increase. Romantic comedy Music And Lyrics took $3.7m, Charlotte's Web grossed $3.6m, Epic Movie took $2.6m and Hannibal Rising generated $2.03m.

Japan and Spain fell marginally by 2.31% and 0.93% respectively while German box office increased slightly by 3.88% compared to the same weekend last year.