The Spartan army continued to sweep all before it as 300 grossed an estimated $48m through Warner Bros Pictures International (WBPI), an exceptional result from 5,000 prints in 33 markets that raised the overseas tally to $79m.

The epic opened at number one in 20 markets, led by $8.9m in the UK from 369 sites that included previews and registered 59% market share of the top five titles.

300 scored a superb $6.3m launch in Spain on 536 screens, while Russia generated an extraordinary $5.6m from 432 prints that ranks as the biggest WBPI release it the territory.

France delivered an excellent $5.6m from 485 prints that included previews and commanded 43% market share, while Italy produced a powerful $5.3m from 486 prints ahead of local titles Il 7 E L'8 and Ho Voglia Di Te.

Mexico generated $2.6m from 520 prints for 54% of the top five market share, marking the second biggest launch for an 18-rated film behind The Passion Of The Christ.

Elsewhere, South Korea added $3.4m from 231 prints in the second weekend for $12m, while Greece rewarded the 'local' tale with $1.3m in the third weekend that raised the tally to an outstanding $9.4m. 300 has overtaken Troy and ranks as the biggest WBPI film of all time and the industry's fifth biggest after only seven days on release.

The romantic comedy Music And Lyrics added $7m from 3,500 prints in 54 markets for $68m. The only notable release was in Turkey, where the film opened in third place on $336,000 from 67 prints.

The film added $1.5m from 620 prints in the second weekend in Germany to rank second on $8.1m, and grossed $1m from 253 prints after the same amount of time in France and ranks fifth in Paris on $4.2m.

Happy Feet stands at $177.5m powered by a $1m second weekend gross in Japan on 499 screens that raised the tally there to $4.8m. Cattleya's Italian hit Ho Voglia Di Te, released in Italy through Warner Bros Italy, added $1.7m from 500 prints in its third weekend and stands at $18.2m.

Paramount/PPI's Eddie Murphy comedy Norbit finished the weekend as the second biggest film after taking $8.3m from 2,513 sites in 40 territories to raise the tally to $43.2m.

It opened in third place in Italy on $1.6m from 241 locations, and opened in Belgium on $479,000 from 33 screens. The UK added $1.3m from 374 screens for $9m and Germany added $1.1m from 511 for $5.9m.

The high school drama Freedom Writers grossed $1m from 526 sites in 10 territories for $3.8m, powered by a $352,000 launch in Australia on 153 screens.

Dreamgirls grossed added $1m from 997 venues in 57 territories and stands at $49.3m. Family tale Charlotte's Web has amassed $59.6m, while the thriller Shooter launched day-and-date with North America in Brazil on $285,000 from 105 sites.

Ghost Rider added $5.4m from 3,500 screens in 58 markets through Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) for $95.4m.

The Marvel Comics adaptation opened top in Thailand on $885,000 on 120 screens, marking the biggest opening so far this year for a Hollywood film. The film opened top in New Zealand on $290,000 from 53 screens, and launched in third place in Israel on $65,000 from 21. Italy stands at $3.2m after two weekends, while Brazil and the UK have amassed $6m and $8.9m respectively after four.

Reign Over Me opened in Australia day-and-date with North America and ranked eighth on $230,000 from 56 screens.

Universal/UPI's comedy sequel Mr Bean's Holiday kicked off its global run with two record breaking debuts. The film opened in Singapore on $1.1m from 43 sites for the biggest comedy opening ever and Universal and UIP's biggest opening in a non-holiday period.

The film took $680,000 from 49 sites in Malaysia in what was also a record comedy launch. The film's international running total stands at $1.7m from 92 sites, and it will open in 21 territories next weekend including the UK and Australia. The North American release date is Aug 31.

Hot Fuzz added $2m from 585 sites in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and stands at $42.5m. The comedy ranks sixth in the UK after six weekends after adding $900,000 from 357 sites for $39.4m.

Hot Fuzz held firm in second place in Australia on $920,000 from 186 sites for $2.7m after two weekends, and raised the tally in New Zealand by $142,000 from 42 venues for $400,000 after the same amount of time.

Romantic comedy The Holiday opened on $1.6m in Japan from 278 sites and stands at $131m overall. The CIA drama The Good Shepherd has amassed $12.5m, while the crime caper Smokin' Aces has reached $18.1m.

Buena Vista International's (BVI) comedy Wild Hogs grossed $2.6m from 590 screens in six territories and has reached $11.1m. The film ranked number one in Australia for the third consecutive weekend on $1.7m from 300 sites for $8m. Russia has generated $1.6m after two weekends, while New Zealand has produced $650,000 after three.

Deja Vu added $2.1m from 650 screens in two territories for $111m, and took approximately $1.3m in China on 200 screens.

Fox International executives were rejoicing this weekend as titles passed significant milestones. Night At The Museum crossed $300m as $3.6m from 1,991 screens raised the tally to $301m, while The Devil Wears Prada reached $200m.

Epic Movie added $2m from 1,000 screens for $27m, while The Last King Of Scotland has amassed $25m, and Rocky Balboa stands at $74m through Fox International.

Saw III added $600,000 from six territories for Lionsgate and now stands at $81.4m.