The Return of the King, the third and last instalment in the classic trilogy, hit North American screens last week and immediately scored the best five-day opening in history.

Internationally, the movie has raked in around $245 million since it began opening across the world last Wednesday.

"This movie performed even better than expected, both in terms of box office and reviews, which is truly remarkable," said Paul Dergarabedian of box office trackers Exhibitor Relations.

"Its very unusual to see such an upward trajectory in the performance of the three Rings films from the first to the last. It's a real tribute to (New Zealand director Peter Jackson)."

The finale of JRR Tolkien's fantasy broke the previous five-day North American record of $105 million earned by Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace when it opened in May 1999.

And the story of hobbits, goblins and mystical princesses also beat the five-day record of its predecessor, The Two Towers, which took in $102 million when it opened a year ago.