Local films helped push collective global box office takings of nine territories up 8% last weekend compared to the same weekend last year, according to Screen International's Screen Index.

Italy continues to surge and was up 51.8% year-on-year thanks to the success of Fausto Brizzi's sequel Notte Prima Degli Esami - Oggi which generated a solid $3.1m in its second week. While this was a 61% increase on last year's number one, Brizzi's first instalment, Notte Prima Degli Esami, the sequel has virtually saturated Italian screens and played on 589 screens. In the same weekend last year, the first film played on 280 screens.

Local drama Saturno Contro did not trail far behind, taking a generous $3.03m from 379 screens in its first weekend. Hollywood product supported the boost as new entries Music And Lyrics, Alpha Dog, Notes On A Scandal and Barnyard: The Original Party Animals took a collective $6.4m at the box office.

UK audiences continued to favour local cop comedy Hot Fuzz which generated a whooping $6.4m in its second weekend, helping boost the territory by 38.9% year-on-year. Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead follow-up was up 188% on last year's highest-grossing film Date Movie. Family film Charlotte's Web held on to the second position and took $2.5m in its third week, up nearly 20% from last year's second entry Chicken Little.

German box office was up 25.9% thanks to top film Ghost Rider generating 74% more than last year's top film The Elementary Particles (Elementarteilchen). The action film took $2.3m last weekend from 362 screens. Local teen comedy Die Wilden Kerle 4 was up 14% from the previous weekend and took $1.5m from 720 screens, bringing it to $12.4m in its fourth week.

French cinemas were also up by 22.8% compared to the same last week of 2006 due to successful local product. Taxi 4 raked in a massive $14.7m from 867 screens in its first week while Edith Piaf biopic La Vie En Rose generated $11.5m from 675 screens. Their combined total was up 61% from last year's highest grossing films Les Bronzes 3: Amis Pour La Vie (which was in its third week) and Orchestra Seats.

Mexico saw a 22.7% year-on-year boost last weekend thanks to the success of Hollywood products. Eddie Murphy comedy Norbit took $1.2m in its first week from 292 screens, up 86% from last year's top film Bambi 2 which played on an additional 43 screens. And comic-book fantasy Ghost Rider grossed a generous $1.1m from 403 screens.

But Japan fell by 13% compared to the same week last year as top film Dreamgirls took $1.6m at the weekend, 34% less than last year's local The Star Of Perfectual Government.

South Korea and Spain also saw slight drops of 5.1% and 4.39% respectively while North American year-on-year performance fell marginally by 2.1%.