Paramount's Mission: Impossible III swept across the international landscapeover the weekend as it grossed an estimated $70.3m from 7,390 sites in 57territories.

Combined with the $48m domestic tally, the third instalment in theaction series took $118m worldwide to register the biggest global launch for thefranchise to date.

The strength of the result is all the more remarkable given the gloriousweather in Europe and the fact that the two previous two episodes launchedmostly over holiday weekends.

By way of comparison Mission: Impossible took $57.4m in the same markets and M:I:2grossed $53.5m.

The picture opened number one everywhere and there were plenty ofnew records. South Korea's $10.6m from 402 sites was a new mark for UIP, while$10.1m from 513 in the UK was Paramount's second biggest opening ever behindlast year's War Of The Worlds.

The picture took $6.1m from 728 in France, $3.7m from 554 inSpain, $3.3m from 552 in Italy, $3.1m from 65 in Taiwan for UIP's second biggestopening ever, and $3m from 404 in Mexico for Paramount's second biggest releaseever behind War Of The Worlds.

Australia produced $2.9m from 243 venues, while Germany wasclearly affected by the weather, generating just $2.6m from 802.

Brazil opened to $2.4m from 276 for UIP and Paramount's secondbiggest debut ever, while Russia produced $2.3m from 448.

Other notable results include $1.7m from 74 in Thailand for Paramount'sbiggest ever release; $1.1m from 43 in the Middle East for the biggest industryopening ever; $873,000 from 178 in Turkey for the second biggest Paramountopening ever; and a new all-time mark for UIP of $1m in Greece.

In Asia, M:I:III generated $1.3m from 101 in the Philippines and the same amounton 29 in Singapore Ð both of which were Paramount's biggest openings while thePhilippines also set a new mark for Cruise.

Cruise set another record in Malaysia with $938,000 from 51, whileIndonesia's $630,000 from 60 was UIP's biggest ever opening. Japan, China andIndia are yet to open.

"We are delighted by the fantastic international opening of Mission Impossible III this weekend and given the terrificreviews and playability, the film is clearly going to have a

long and very successful run," UIP president and chiefoperating officer Andrew Cripps said.

Meanwhile Fox International's Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, which until now had ruled the roost formore than a month, added $14.3m from 7,316 screens to raise the internationaltally to a dazzling $405.8m.

After five weekends Germany remains the highest grossing territoryon $54.2m, while the UK stands at $48.9m, France is on $42.6m, and Italy hastaken $20.7m.

Fox International opened the British game show mockumentary Confetti in the UK on 300 screens for $1.3m andsecond place behind M:I:III.

Buena Vista International's (BVI) Scary Movie 4 added $5.4m for a $56.4m running total,and the horror spoof has grossed $8.6m in both Germany and Italy.

EightBelow added $2.8m for $27.6m, andranks third in Spain on a $2.2m cumulative total.

Universal's Inside Man raised the tally by $3.1m from 1,200 sites in 40 territoriesthrough UIP for an impressive $81m. There are seven territories still to open.

Children's title Nanny McPhee remains active in 21 territories and standsat $73m through all distributors and $66m through UIP.

Warner Bros Pictures International's (WBPI) action picture VFor Vendetta added $2.3mfrom more than 1,700 prints in 56 markets for $57.9m.

Japan stands at $6.9m and France is on $4.2m, both after threeweekends.

Horror title Hostel added $910,000 on 510 screens in 26 markets through Sony PicturesReleasing International to raise the total to $31.2m.

Family title Yours,Mine And Ours added$500,000 from 826 in 26 for $15.4m, while horror title When A Stranger Callsstands at $7m.