Mission: Impossible III passed the $250m mark at the international boxoffice yesterday (Aug 3). The action blockbuster, which was first out of thegates this summer season, received the boost to reach the mark after receivingits belated opening in Japan on July 8.

Traditionally one of starTom Cruise's strongest territories, Japan has delivered $35m in the four weeks since its launch.The film had taken $207m prior to the Japanese launch.

The international market,where UIP distributes the film, has once again far outperformed North America where Mission:Impossible III took $133.5m for Paramount.

However, the results for thethird film in Japan mirror overall results, paling next to the previous instalment in theseries and even falling short of the original film. Mission: Impossible II grossed $330.8m internationally in 2000,with $94.1m coming from Japan. Mission: Impossibletook $275.4m internationally in 1996with Japan accounting for $54m.

Despite solid reviews manyanalysts speculated whether the over-exposure of Cruise, through hisrelationship with Katie Holmes, that started early last year and had not slowedahead of the franchise title's release, might put audiences off the film.Certainly is in undeniable that the third in the franchise has not come closeto reaching the levels of the second film and has struggled in most even tomatch the first. Only South Korea stands out as a major exception where the third filmgrossed $37.6m, well ahead of the earlier films' $10.6m and $13.6m.