New Line International's TheLord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King is bearing down on $700m at the international box office after raisingits running total by $9.4m from 3,547 screens in 60 markets at the weekend to$679.4m.

Peter Jackson's trilogy finaledropped 27% in its fourth weekend in Japan, adding $4.7m from 698 screens for a$55.4m cumulative score. It remained number one in key cities.

The Return Of The King's AcademyAwards success from the previous weekend had a demonstrable effect overall,with 23 markets gaining and another 11 keeping their drops to within 10%.

The picture went out on afurther 165 prints in Germany, where it ranked fifth, adding $386,491 from 327in its 12th week for $86.7m.

In the UK it added 26screens and climbed 10% to $646,245 from 275 in its 12th week for a staggering$105.1m running total.

The supernatural thriller TheButterfly Effect opened top inSingapore for New Line on $124,369 from 22 screens over four days.