With Friday andthe weekend still to come, The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King has already broken a slew ofinternational opening day records as the New Line International title grossedan estimated $23.5m in its first day in 17 territories and $34.1m in the US.
All in all thefinal episode of Peter Jackson's fantasy trilogy set new records in 15territories, including $5.2m from 1,299 screens in the UK, $5m from 1,337 inGermany and $1.7m from 512 in Spain.
Non-record bowsincluded $3m from 974 in France and $881,179 from 550 in Mexico.
The film was dueto roll out in a further seven territories on Dec 18 and four more on Dec 19.
"To break openingday records is always a surprise but I think we passed out expectations here,"Rolf Mittweg, New Line Cinema's president and chief operating officer ofworldwide distribution and marketing, told Screen. "We are extremely pleasedwith the result.
"We started thiswith a 26-minute trailer at Cannes in 2001 and unfortunately it is all comingto an end now. We have lived with this for a few years and it has been anamazing journey."
The Return OfThe King opening day:
UK: $5.2m from1,299 screens - biggest opening day
GERMANY: $5mfrom 1,337 - biggest opening day
SPAIN: $1.7mfrom 512 - biggest opening day
NORWAY: $1.1mfrom 105 - biggest opening day
SWEDEN: $1.4mfrom 169 - biggest opening day
SWITZERLAND:$600,504 from 126 - biggest opening day
DENMARK: $1.2mfrom 120 - biggest opening day
CHILE: $161,316from 59 - biggest opening day
AUSTRIA:$799,446 from 157 - biggest opening day
HOLLAND:$627,914 from 188 - biggest opening day
GREECE: $364,898from 77 - biggest opening day
PUERTO RICO:$138,802 from 61 - biggest opening day
FINLAND:$364,898 from 68 - biggest opening day
BELGIUM:$422,402 from 112 - biggest Wednesday
SOUTH AFRICA:$293,917 on 92 - biggest Wednesday
FRANCE: $3m from974
PORTUGAL:$139,823 from 107
MEXICO: $881,179from 550
PERU: $137,338from 98.
Some figures may includepreliminary figures from Dec 18 releases.