The Golden Compass should direct New Line International (NLI) toward sparkling returns this weekend as the fantasy adventure launches in 27 territories.

Early results indicate a mighty gross as the film took $4.3m from nine advance launches on Dec 5 that produced eight number one opening days. The UK led the way on $1.9m, while France generated $792,423 and Spain grossed $731,529.

The film, the first adaptation of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy about a young girl battling an evil empire, grossed $494,373 in Thailand, $147,266 in Norway, $69,497 in Belgium, $66,601 in Finland, $58,619 in the Philippines and $24,087 in French-speaking Switzerland.

Still to come this weekend are launches in Germany, Russia, Taiwan, Singapore, Austria, Sweden and a host of smaller markets. New Line will release it in North America on December 6.

The musical Hairspray has grossed $78.7m through NLI and launches in South Korea this weekend. Latest figures put the comedy Run Fat Boy Run on $22.2m, action adventure Shoot 'Em Up on $11.3m, thriller Rendition on $8.8m, comedy Mr Woodcock on $5.1m and buddy movie Rush Hour 3 on $112.8m.

Warner Bros Pictures International's (WBPI) animated adventure Beowulf has amassed more than $75m while thriller The Brave One stands at more than $33m.

Fox International takes Hitman into several territories this weekend including Australia on December 6 and Italy and New Zealand a day later. The video game adaptation has grossed $15.1m so far. Lions For Lambs has amassed $30m.

DreamWorks-Paramount's animated family film Bee Movie stands at $20.8m and ventures into 10 new territories through PPI including Australia on Dec 6 and Brazil on December 7.

Comedy remake The Heartbreak Kid has taken $73.4m and opens in four including Singapore on Dec 6.

Universal's comedy Hot Fuzz has taken $55.1m and opens through UPI on December 5. Richard Kelly's Southland Tales opens in the UK on December 7.