A stunning $7.2m launch for 8 Mile in the UK and Ireland is the latest box office triumph for US rapper Eminem's acting debut.

The UIP-released film, which is directed by Curtis Hanson, claimed a powerful $7.2m (£4.4m) over the weekend in the UK - including $771,995 (£477,093) of previews. The launch saw 8 Mile replace four-week leader The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers at the top of the chart.

Playing at 423 sites the film scored a mighty average of $16,986 per location. 8 Mile received a positive reception from critics and also stars Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy and Kim Basinger.

8 Mile also claimed the top spot over the four-day weekend in Switzerland, again dethroning The Two Towers. Opening on 40 screens in the German-speaking region of the territory the film claimed $506,548 (SFR 693,464). It launches in the French-speaking region on February 26.

In the Netherlands the hip-hop drama had to settle for third place, but still managed to score the highest screen average of the week. Scoring $782,650 (Euros 734,126) from 67 screens in four-days, 8 Mile recorded a screen average of $11,681, ahead of first placed The Two Towers which saw an average of $10,672 per screen this weekend.

The film also saw a strong reception on opening this week in Australia where it claimed a four-day launch of $2.9m from 162 screens. It also launched in Denmark, where it placed second to The Two Towers with $514,666 over the weekend from 30 screens - $548,163 including previews. In Poland it managed $340,668 from 43 screens.

The Greek bow over the weekend netted 8 Mile $248,608 in three-days, also from 30 screens, with a total of $261,644 including previews. Israel saw a four-day debut of $171,882 from 28 prints and Peru landed $16,206 from 10 in three days.

It continues to play well in Germany where it has a cumulative gross of $12.8m after three weekends on release. 8 Mile has grossed over $28m internationally to date and grossed $115.6m in North America.