Underlining Tom Cruise’s global appeal, “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” has launched powerfully with $65 million in 40 international markets.

The Paramount/Skydance release has outperformed 2011’s “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” by 49% in the same markets. South Korea led the way with $17.1 million — the studio’s second-biggest opening in that market after “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”

It was the biggest opening for a Cruise film in 27 markets. With the $56 million U.S. opening, the worldwide total for “Rogue Nation” has already hit $121 million.

“Tom Cruise is arguably the biggest movie star in the world,” noted Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. “The level of action in this film and the international locations just resonate on so many levels. And he’s tireless about marketing his films.”

The film was shot by Christopher McQuarrie starting last August with production in Austria, Monaco, Morocco and the U.K. Cruise reprises his Ethan Hunt superspy role, facing off against a squad of special agents hellbent on plunging the world into chaos. Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Rebecca Ferguson also star.

The “Mission: Impossible” franchise has been a money-maker for Paramount for nearly two decades with more than $2 billion in worldwide grosses. “Ghost Protocol” is the best international performer with $485 million.

“Rogue Nation” led in the U.K. with $8.7 million, 8% above “Ghost Protocol” and the biggest opening in the “Mission” franchise in the country. Mexico generated $5.1 million — more than double of “Ghost Protocol’s” opening — and Taiwan brought in $5 million, 67% above “Ghost Protocol.”

Australia took in $3.9 million, followed by Malaysia with $2.7 million and Hong Kong with $2.6 million.

“Rogue Nation” will launch in Germany and Japan next weekend and the red-hot Chinese market will see the release on Sept. 8.

China was by far the biggest international market for “Ghost Protocol” with $101 million, followed by $69 million in Japan and $51 million in South Korea.

Universal/Illumination’s powerhouse “Minions” led the rest of the pack internationally with $39.1 million, lifting its foreign total to $567.3 million. Chinese hit “Monster Hunt” followed with $27 million for a $279 million total.

Dsiney/Marvel’s “Ant-Man” took fourth with $20 million to push its international total to $159.5 million,, edging Sony’s “Pixels” with $19.8 million for a $56 million foreign cumulative.

Disney’s “Inside Out” earned $17.8 million for a $272.7 million international total.