Elite Squad 2 (Tropa de Elite 2) sold 1.29 million tickets in Brazil in its first weekend, ranking as the fifth biggest opening of the last ten years in the country.

In admissions, its opening beat Ice Age 3 (with 1.23 m) and lost only to Spider-Man 3 (1.7 m), New Moon (1.4 m), Spider-Man 2 (1.36 m) and Spider-Man (1.3 m).

Directed by Jose Padilha, this sequel to the Golden Bear winner at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival also had the biggest opening of a domestic film since Retomadaof Brazilian cinema, in the ’90s.

In three days, it grossed $8.3 m (Brazilian reais 13.9 m), according to the figures released Sunday night by Filme B, a Brazilian film company that reviews theatrical market numbers.

The film was distributed independently by its own production company, Zazen Producoes, reaching more than 700 screens across the country.

Even though the specialists are not predicting a total figure for Elite Squad 2 yet, it will certainly surpass the first film’s box office.

Distributed by Universal in 2007, the original film totalled 2.42 million admissions. But this figure was not so representative given the fact that Elite Squad generated one of the biggest piracy phenomenon in the country, which definitely hurt the film’s box office.

Specialists in Brazil believed that 11.5 million people saw a pirate copy of the film before it was in the theatres.

To avoid the piracy this time, Padilha and his team were extra careful while making the sequel. “The strategy was simple: doing as much as we could in house and selecting very carefully the companies we worked with,’’ says Padilha, who focused more in the corruption among politicians in the second film (instead of the police force, in the original).

So far, there is no release date for the film overseas.