Universal began theinternational roll-out of rap drama 8 Mile in emphatic style over the weekend, grossing $7.3m from 597 theatres inGermany, Austria, Taiwan and Hong Kong. In Germany the Eminem starrer took amighty $6.1m from 455 venues. It was Universal's fifth biggest opening ever inthe territory behind American Pie 2, Jurassic Park, The Lost World and The Mummy. The picture opened in second place behind The Lord Of The Rings:The Two Towers, which in its thirdweek grossed $9.6m from 1,100 theatres. As an ancillary indicator of Eminem'sinternational cross-marketing appeal, Lose Yourself, the lead single from thepicture, is currently number two in the German music charts.

'This is a great startfor 8 Mile and proves that this underdog story connects with audiences aroundthe world,' Randy Greenberg, Universal's senior vice president of internationaltheatrical distribution and marketing, said in a statement.

In Austria, the pictureknocked The Two Towers off itsperch, grossing $903,000 from 73 venues to finish top of the table with a 38%market share. It was the studio's second biggest opening in Austria behind AmericanPie 2 and the 15th biggest industrybow, beating Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Men in Black 2 and XXX.The single Lose Yourself is number three in the Austrian charts.

In Taiwan 8 Mile opened on $157,000 from 52 theatres in second placebehind The Two Towers. Hong Kong yielded a powerful $180,000 from 17 venues anda number five ranking.

8 Mile will be released in Thailand on Jan 10; Australiaand Netherlands on Jan 16; and the UK and Mexico on Jan 17.