Finding Nemo became the biggest global release of 2003 in the last weekend of the year as it added $25.5m from international markets to raise its worldwide tally to $745m.

By Dec 29 the animated hit had amassed $405m at the international box office, which combined with the $340m domestic gross to overtake the existing 2003 benchmark of $738m set by The Matrix Reloaded.

The Buena Vista Pictures release is now the 12th biggest all-time international release.

Key drivers in the weekend haul were France, where the film added $6.9m in its fifth week for a $51.2m running total, and Japan, where it grossed $5.8m in its fourth week and remains number one for the fourth consecutive weekend on $47.5m.

In Spain in its fifth week Nemo added $3m and climbed 59% for a $22.8m cumulative score, while Germany added $2.7m and fell 1% in its sixth week for $47.2m and Italy added $2.9m and climbed 44% in its fourth week for $18.4m.

In all cases except Japan the film ranked second, mostly behind The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King.