In its first international roll-out weekend Columbia's Men in Black II scored a combined gross of $11.7m from Australia, Japan, Russia, New Zealand and Columbia, averaging $10,400 from 1,129 screens.

In Japan MIBII took $5.3m - coincidentally the same amount Men in Black grossed when the original came out in December 1997. The studio is capitalising on the imminent school holidays in the territory and the film will play out until schools return on August 31.

In Australia the sci-fi action sequel recorded the eighth biggest opening of all time as it cashed in on the holiday season to take $3.6m. In New Zealand MIBII recorded the fifth biggest opening of all time, grossing $730,000.

In Russia the picture scored $1.86m in its opening weekend to become the biggest opener of all time in a territory that has seen considerable change in recent years. Whereas Men in Black went out on 20 screens when it was released in 1997, the rapid development of market forces in Russia enabled Columbia to put out MIBII on 150 screens with obvious rewards.

Finally the picture took $340,000 in Columbia, where it recorded the seventh biggest opening of all time. Gross receipts in the territory were more than double those received for the original.

This weekend Men in Black II is due to open in Korea and Taiwan - the second and third biggest Asian markets after Japan - Switzerland, Argentina and Latin America's two biggest markets, Mexico and Brazil.