After winning for weeks in December, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol climbed back to the top position and collected $25 million from 63 markets for a worldwide total of $571 million.
With a hefty $12.7 million opening in China and a good debut in Italy ($3.1), the action thriller, starring Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker), continues strong. This fourth installment also ranked at first position in Norway and Sweden, and Denmark.
In second, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, costarring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, slipped from the top spot but still earned $17.3 million across 58 territories, for a total of $469.4 million worldwide.
The sequel, also directed by Guy Ritchie, debuted in France and hit first place with $6.6 million. This film has made 14 percent more than the first in the franchise at the same point in its release, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In third place, Underworld: Awakening is the fourth sequel in the vampire franchise starring Kate Beckinsale. It grabbed $16 million over the weekend in 47 territories with debuts in Mexico in first and Spain in second.
In the fourth position, the best grossing by far of the three Best Picture Oscar nominees in wide foreign release was 20th Century Fox's The Descendants, which grossed $15.6 million over the weekend at 2,507 screens in 33 markets, of which 24 were new for the weekend.
The fifth position for the weekend was taken by The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, starring Daniel Craig and Oscar nominee Rooney Mara. Director David Fincher's adaptation of the Swedish novel by Stieg Larsson reached third place in France and hit a total of $184.9 million worldwide.
Other noteworthy films include Best Picture Oscar nominee War Horse by Steven Spielberg, which still ranks in first in the UK in its third week.
The Descendants, starring George Clooney, opened in second in the UK and in France and Spain in first, and The Artist currently remains in fifth in the UK and seventh in its native France for the 16th week.