The Lord Of The Rings sequel, The Two Towers, flattened competition across the globe in its opening weekend in 25 international territories. Claiming a tremendous $87.9m in its first five days on release (Dec 18-22), the film finished its international launch 38% higher than its predecessor, The Fellowship Of The Ring, did in 2001.

Combining with a massive North American five-day opening ($102m) New Line expects the sequel to better Fellowship's $860m worldwide total by some 20%-25%. If achieved this would make The Two Towers only the second film ever to pass $1bn worldwide after 1997's Titanic ($1.8bn). The second instalment boasted a worldwide cumulative gross of $190m after just five days. Fellowship took $547.7m from international territories.

In both director Peter Jackson's homeland of New Zealand (where the trilogy was filmed and Jackson's production company Wingnut are based) and Denmark the film broke box office records.

New Zealand saw The Two Towers achieve the best single day earnings ever on Thursday, Dec 19 with $377,509 and go on to score the highest weekend take of all time with $1.14m - 29% higher than Fellowship.

The film scored the highest five-day weekend ever in Denmark with $2.75m - 65% ahead of Fellowship - and biggest single day (Dec 19) with $825,646. The Fellowship Of The Ring currently holds the record for all-time biggest grossing film in both territories.

The Two Towers also set a record five-day opening gross in Germany ($19.4m from 1,266 screens) and claimed the best opening weekend ever in Switzerland with $1.7m in four-days - the film's $2m five-day launch was 43% higher than that of Fellowship.

Other significant launches include the UK and Ireland ($20.9m from 1,160 screens), France ($9.8m at 973 screens), Spain ($7.1m from 471), South Korea ($5.8m, 1.1 million admissions), Sweden ($3.5m from 151 screens), Mexico ($3.1m at 553) and Norway ($2.7m from 96 screens).