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MIIB storms French box office

Columbia TriStar saw a massive first day opening in France for its latest summer blockbuster Men In Black II on Wednesday Aug 7.

Recording a phenomenal 580,978 admissions (equivalent to $3m) in one day from 795 screens, the sequel to 1997's hit was leagues ahead of Columbia's earlier summer release Spider-Man which sold 480,288 ($2.5m) on its first day from a much wider release on 901 screens.

In the following eight weeks Spider-Man has gone on to sell over 5.83 million admissions ($30.3m) in France. If Men In Black II can live up to its opening day promise over the coming weeks, it should surpass this as well as the sales of the original Men In Black which reached a total of 5.76 million admissions ($29.97m) in France.

The opening was unable to challenge the country's biggest first day openings however. The record is held by Taxi 2 which saw 759,000 admissions on March 29, 2000, playing on 830 screens. On January 30 of this year another French title, and yet another sequel, Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra sold 629,000 tickets at a massive 945 screens to become the second largest.

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