The hugely awaited Viggo Mortensen-starrer Alatriste, themost expensive Spanish production ever, scored well during its opening weekendin its home market but fell short of breaking local records.

According to provisionalfigures from Nielsen EDI, Alatriste took around $5.8m (Euros 4.5m) in its openingweekend, which would leave it trailing local record holders Torrente 3: The Protector (Euros 7.2m in 2005) and live-action comic Mortadelo & Filemon'sBig Adventure (Euros 5.1m in 2003).

Those earnings would place Alatriste aboveother local productions including Ridley Scott's Kingdom Of Heaven (Euros 3.8m in 2005), Alejandro Amenabar's The Others(Euros 3.6m in 2001) and Torrente 2: Mission In Marbella (Euros 3.5min 2001).

The Sept 1 wide release on450 copies by Hispano FoxFilm followed weeks ofmassive publicity, culminating in a Madrid premiere Thursday night attended by the ensemblecast, led by Mortensen, and an array of politicians including the primeminister and his usually camera-shy wife.

The Spanish-language Alatristeco-stars a high-profile local cast including Eduardo Noriega, Javier Camara, Elena Anaya and AriadnaGil in the 17th century tale of a captain's adventures and misadventures.Agustin Diaz-Yanes (Don't Tempt Me) directed from his own script based on a series ofhugely popular novels by best-selling author Arturo Perez-Reverte.

The $30.8m (Euros 24m) film,produced by Telecinco's EstudiosPicasso, Origen PC and Universal Studios, hasreceived strong reviews in local press. France's TF1 International confirmed sales to date to morethan a dozen territories in Europe and Asia.

The movie's release has hada ripple effect in Spanish society, inspiring expositions on the dubbed "GoldenCentury" of Alatriste, walking tours of "Alatriste's Madrid" and newly published guidebooks to the novels.

The film screens in theSpecial Presentations section of the Toronto International Film Festival onSept 12.