Universal's 8 Mile continued to swagger toward $100m at the international box office over the weekend, driven chiefly by a record opening in Italy.

Opening on Friday (Mar 14), the drama grossed $516,000 at 235 sites for the biggest March opening day of all time in the territory. By the end of the weekend it had taken $2.8m, Universal's sixth biggest opening weekend ever in Italy.

Overall the picture grossed $5.3m from 1,202 venues in 16 markets, raising its international running total to $98.6m.

8 Mile held well in its third weekend in France, remaining in second place on $1.8m from 491 venues and dropping 35%. After 19 days the picture has grossed $10.2m.

In its third weekend in Belgium 8 Mile grossed $215,000 from 53 venues to raise its cumulative total after 19 days to $1.8m.

8 Mile is set to open in Brazil, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and South Africa this week and Japan on May 24.

Buena Vista International's (BVI) animated romp Lilo & Stitch grossed $2.3m in Japan over the weekend, dropping 17% but raising its cumulative score in the market to $7.1m. Its international running total now stands at $107.3m.

The Jungle Book 2 took $1.5m over the weekend for a $31m international running total. Treasure Planet added $500,000 for a $63.3m cumulative score with Japan still to open.

For Fox, Die Another Day continued on its record-breaking path, adding another $3.4m on 671 screens in four active markets for a $253.7m international cumulative score.

In its second weekend in Japan the 20th James Bond instalment dropped 30%, taking $2.4m on 325 screens. It remained in second place and has a $8.9m running total.

New Line's The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers remained number one in its fourth weekend in key cities in Japan, dropping a mere 19% and adding $3.4m from 349 screens for a $37.7m cumulative score.

The picture averaged $9,729 and has grossed 6% more than Peter Jackson's first instalment, The Fellowship Of The Ring, through the same period.

To date The Two Towers has out-grossed The Fellowship Of The Ring in more than 35 territories, including the UK, France, Italy, Mexico, Australia and South Korea.