By John Young
Updated October 27, 2011 at 09:20 PM EDT

Tintin and Snowy may not arrive Stateside until Dec. 21, but the sleuthing duo has also made quite an entrance in three European countries.

Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin debuted in first place in France, the United Kingdom, and Belgium on Wednesday, grossing $4.7 million, $3.5 million, and $240,000, respectively, according to Sony Pictures. The film’s first day in France puts it on track for the biggest opening in that country besides Avatar.

The 3-D performance-capture movie is expected to perform much better overseas than in the United States, where Hergé’s comic strips aren’t nearly as well known. As a result, Paramount and Sony are releasing the film in more than 40 countries before it reaches America in hopes that stellar foreign results will boost awareness domestically.

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