Asterix 2 : Mission Cleopatre drew a massive 629,000 admissions on its opening day in France on Wed Jan 30, making it the second best debut ever in the country.

However, and even though distributor Pathe released it on a record 945 prints, Asterix 2, which is the most expensive French-language film to date (with a $41.9m price tag), failed to break the all-time record held by another French film (and another sequel), the Luc Besson-produced Taxi 2 which generated one-day sales of 759,000 tickets from 830 prints in 2000. In 1999, Asterix And Obelix saw 427,000 tickets sold on its first day.

In Paris, Asterix 2 generated 102,611 admissions, a feat which only Taxi 2 has bettered, with 113,101 tickets sold on its opening salvo..

In comparison, the third title in the top Paris openers is Independance Day, which attracted 92,896 admissions, just ahead of the fourth, Men In Black (91,963), the fifth best opener being The Phantom Menace (72,786).

Harry Potter, which ended up beating all titles which opened in 2001, even Amelie, ranks only ninth in the top all-time openers, with 72,786 tickets sold.