Around-the-World Roundup: 'M:I-4' Back on Top
Thanks to a huge opening in China, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is back in first place at the overseas box office this weekend. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows also had another strong frame, and is well on its way to passing the original Sherlock's total, while The Descendants tallied solid numbers in a handful of major new markets.

The fourth installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise grossed $25.2 million from 56 markets this weekend. Over half of that came in China, where the movie debuted to an impressive $13.5 million. That's five times higher than Mission: Impossible III's opening, and Ghost Protocol has already topped that movie to become the highest-grossing entry in the franchise in China. Ghost Protocol also had a respectable debut in Italy ($3.1 million) and had strong first place openings in Norway ($1.2 million) and Sweden ($1.16 million).

Including Monday, its foreign total is now at $377.6 million, which brings its worldwide (domestic plus foreign) gross to $580.3 million. On Friday, Ghost Protocol passed Mission: Impossible II's $546.4 million total to become the top movie in the franchise, and by the end of the week it should easily pass War of the Worlds ($592 million) to become star Tom Cruise's highest-grossing movie ever.

"Brad Bird, Tom Cruise, J.J. Abrams and the entire team who worked on Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol created an incredibly entertaining film, one that fans worldwide embraced in record numbers," said Paramount's Vice Chairman Rob Moore in a press release.

After leading for three-straight weekends, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows dropped to second place with $18.1 million from 58 markets. Its only major opening was in France, where it took first place with $7.3 million. At $294 million, the movie is tracking at least 14 percent ahead of the first Sherlock movie and still has an opening in Japan to look forward to in March.

In its second weekend in theaters, Underworld Awakening added around $16 million for a total of $40.3 million. It debuted to $2.86 million in Australia, $2.01 million in Spain and $1.98 million in Mexico (which is four times higher than Underworld: Evolution). Its top holdover was Russia, where it added $2.55 million for a total just shy of $10 million.

The Descendants grossed $15.9 million from 33 markets. That includes strong starts in the United Kingdom ($2.8 million), France ($1.9 million), Germany ($1.5 million) and Brazil ($1.15 million). It also held even in Australia with $2.54 million, and remained in first place in Spain with $2.25 million. So far, the five-time Oscar nominee has earned $27.8 million overseas.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo added $11.2 million in 60 territories. Its only significant opening came from Brazil, where it made a decent $1.08 million. The David Fincher-directed remake has now made $87.1 million overseas.

Puss in Boots continued its impressive overseas run by adding $7.5 million for a total of $359.7 million. Sometime this weekend, the movie became the eighth DreamWorks Animation production to pass $500 million worldwide.

Other Notables - Weekend Gross - Gross-to-Date (in millions)

Journey 2 - $7.5 - $24.6

Alvin and the Chipmunks 3 - $7.5 - $181.6

Jack and Jill - $4.9 - $31.6

War Horse - $4.6 - $35.4

The Darkest Hour - $2.3 - $41

Contraband - $1.7 - $6.7

We Bought a Zoo - $1.5 - $21.9

Domestic Report:

'The Grey' Leads the Pack

Last Weekend:

'Sherlock' Outwits Competition for Third-Straight Weekend

Related Charts:

• 2011 Worldwide Grosses

• All-Time Worldwide Grosses