Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa had the chops to stay on top of the competition and surge past $275m in a rigorous final weekend of 2008 that delivered strong results for Fox's Australia and The Day The Earth Stood Still, Disney's Bedtime Stories, Warner Bros' Yes Man and Summit International's Twilight.

DreamWorks Animation's hit sequel reaped an estimated $31m through PPI from 6,221 sites in 58 territories for a $278m international running total. Robust holdover business was the key driver here and Italy led the way with a superb $7m gross from 395 in the second weekend that saw box office climb 10% and brought the tally to $18m.

Elsewhere Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa climbed 13% in France on $6.1m from 829 for $32.2m, stayed top in its fourth weekend in Germany as $4.1m from 823 following a 26% slip raised the score to $34m, and added $1.8m from 520 in the UK after a 35% fall for $23.8m.

The film held on to the number one spot in Brazil as $1.6m from 333 after a mere 16% fall raised the tally to $10.4m. It added $1.5m from 408 in Spain following a 49% surge for $16.7m and added $1.5m from 169 in its second weekend in Australia after falling 43% for $8.2m.

There were two debuts this weekend. Indonesia produced $300,000 from 48 over five days including $11,000 in previews to finish 43% ahead of the original film's debut, while Thailand generated $301,000 from 45. The film opens in China on January 1.

Fox International's gave Baz Luhrmann's Australia starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman a mighty push this weekend and the strategy paid dividends in the form of a $26.1m haul from approximately 4,500 screens in 51 markets for an early $46.2m running total.

Highlights were a $4.4m number one launch in Spain on 510 screens, a $4.3m number one debut in France on 648, a $3.7m number one launch in Germany on 739 and a third place UK launch that generated $1.9m from 657. The film opened in Mexico on $1.3m from 543 and added $1.2m from 364 in its fifth weekend in Australia for $16.2m.

Elsewhere it was battling with Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa for first place in Switzerland on $946,870 from 108 and ranks number one in Sweden on $929,219 from 113.

Sci-fi remake The Day The Earth Stood Still crossed $100m as it added $20.3m from roughly 6,500 screens in 62 markets for $100.6m. The weekend was down less than 5% from the previous session and the star of the show was South Korea, where the film launched on $5.7m for Fox's biggest December launch in the market and the second biggest opening weekend ever behind Die Hard 4. Keanu Reeves enjoyed his second biggest debut in South Korea behind The Matrix Reloaded.

Marley & Me delivered a neat companion result to the number one launch in North America as it opened top in Brazil on an excellent $1.4m from 174 screens. Overall the comedy grossed $1.7m from 226 in four markets. Horror title Mirrors launched in its final market of Japan on $860,000 from 169 to bring Fox International's tally to $39.7m. The local acquisition Free Style earned $111,000 in Mexico from 200 screens.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International's family film Bedtime Stories launched in 2,003 theatres in 15 territories day-and-date with North America and grossed an estimated $13.5m, recording the second biggest Adam Sandler launch from these territories behind Sony's You Don't Mess With The Zohan last summer.

The film took $2.9m from 516 in Germany, beating Sandler's Click (released overseas through Sony Pictures Releasing International) and Disney's previous family release Enchanted by 30%. The film launched in the UK on $2.6m from 464 for Sandler's biggest opening weekend and records also fell in France, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Bedtime Stories grossed $2m from 271 in Australia to beat the launch of Enchanted by 20%. It collected $1.3m in France and took twice as much as Click and You Don't Mess With The Zohan, $695,000 in Singapore where it grossed 25% more than You Don't Mess With The Zohan and $542,000 in Hong Kong to double the launch of You Don't Mess With The Zohan. The film is set to open next weekend in Russia, Mexico, Taiwan and Malaysia.

Bolt added $6.5m from 2,300 screens in 24 territories to raise its early international running total to $45.4m, led by a number one hold in the second weekend in Mexico that saw box office climb 13% on $1.8m for $4.4m. The animated hound climbed 13% in Spain, too, where $1.1m boosted the tally to $6.8m after two.

In a fine Chinese debut, Bolt grossed $700,000 from 135 3D screens for a result that was comparable to the launch of Ratatouille. Elsewhere, the film launched at number one in Colombia on $498,000 from 85 and debuted in Turkey on $400,000.

Wall-E stayed top in Japan as $2.1m from 352 elevated the tally to an even $24m as the country enters the holidays. Overall Wall-E has amassed $289.2m.

A star-studded weekend had plenty of room for Jim Carrey as Yes Man grossed $9.1m through Warner Bros Pictures International from 1,385 screens in 14 markets for a promising early $14.1m overseas running total. The key was a number one launch in the UK that produced $3.4m including previews from 420 sites. The comedy opens in Australia on January 1.

Warner Bros Pictures International launched The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett and hit the target with a number one result in Australia on $2.3m from 251 screens. The drama grossed $2.4m overall from 307 overseas screens.

Summit International's vampire romance Twilight bit a $7.7m chunk out of the box office this weekend from approximately 2,690 sites in 34 countries to raise the tally to $81m. The film debuted at number one in New Zealand on $320,000 from 47 and launched in Croatia on $87,000 from ten.

Late last week Universal reported its biggest international year as total box office through UPI reached $1.714bn by the weekend, demolishing the previous high was $1.164bn set in 1999.

The top five grossing releases for 2008 were Mamma Mia! on $428.5m, The Mummy: Tomb Of TheDragon Emperor on $294.3m, Wanted on $209.5m, The Incredible Hulk on $100.6m from Universal territories only, and Hellboy II: The Golden Army on $83.1m.

Mamma Mia! is the highest grossing musical of all time both internationally and worldwide and established box office records in the UK, Hungary, Iceland and Norway. The Mummy: Tomb of The Golden Emperor is the highest grossing film of the Mummy franchise.

Universal's animated romp The Tale Of Despereaux grossed $5m through UPI from 1,815 venues in ten territories for $7.8m. The family release opened in sixth place in Mexico on $1m from 411 and added $932,000 from 333 in Spain following a 53% climb for $2m after two weekends. It added $340,000 from 400 in the UK after a 47% fall for $1.9m after the same amount of time. The film rolls out across the rest of the world over the next four months.

The true-life drama Frost/Nixon launched in Australia and New Zealand on $280,000 from 71 sites overall, grossing $265,000 from 59 in 12th place and $15,000 from 12 in 11th, respectively.

The cha cha cha production Rudo Y Cursi, playing in its first territory of Mexico, ranks number two after adding $1.5m from 409 venues in the second weekend after a 6% climb for $4.1m (local currency 55.3m). This is an impressive showing that is expected to enter the pantheon of top 20 grossing Mexican releases on Monday [December 29].

The drama Changeling added $2.6m from 850 sites in ten territories for an early $30m running total. There were no new openings this weekend, however the film ranks number in Spain two after holding strong in its second weekend as $2m from 320 venues following a tiny 5% drop raised the tally to $5.3m. It ranks 13th in the UK on $6.6m after five weekends and has grossed $450,000 in the Netherlands after four and $9.4m in France after seven. There are 49 territories to go over the next four months and the next major releases are Germany and South Korea on January 22.

Sony Pictures Releasing International unleashed the comic book adaptation The Spirit on 580 screens in two markets day-and-date with North America and grossed $3m. The action film opened in sixth place in Spain on $1.6m from 343 and ranks fifth in Italy on $1.4m from 237 over four days. It opens next weekend in France, Denmark, Sweden and French-speaking Switzerland.

The Will Smith drama Seven Pounds opened in third place in Brazil on $1.3m from 200 screens

Quantum Of Solace added a further $2.2m from 2,225 screens in 61 markets for a mighty $376.6m running total. Latest figures issued by Sony reveal the action film has grossed $79.7m after nine weekends in the UK, $39.7m after eight in Germany, $18.5m after six in Australia, $11.9m after six in Spain and $2.6m after five in New Zealand.

New Line International's comedy Four Christmases added $3.1m from 2,278 screens in 41 territories for $31.1m while the fantasy adventure Inkheart raised its tally by $2.4m from 1,148 in six to $10.6m and launched in Brazil on $355,487 from 158 screens. The film stands at $3.9m in the UK and $5.9m in Germany.