French-language phenomenon Amelie, which has already grossed over $100m worldwide, has set a new foreign-language record on its opening in Australia.
Jean-Pierre Jeunet's film saw opening week figures of $413,000 (A$798,000) to become the territory's highest foreign-language release of all-time. Including previews it has already grossed over $520,000 (A$1m). Amelie crushed the previous record of $254,518 (A$486,130) set by Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in its first week (January 4-10, 2001). However the Academy Award winner opened on just 11 screens compared to the French film's 21. Crouching Tiger went on to become Australia's biggest foreign-language hit amassing over $5m (A$10m) after expanding to more than 70 screens over two months.
Dendy Films, Amelie's Australian distributor, plans to expand the title to more than 50 screens by the end of January. Amelie was one of 20 French titles to sell over 1 million tickets in France in 2001, compared with just seven in 2000.