Warner Bros' director's cut of The Exorcist turned heads in France on its release, beating the Star Wars re-release with a massive 131,387 admissions from 440 prints on its opening day.
The horror classic topped the weekly chart, selling 621,727 tickets in the seven days to March 20. The film, for which director William Friedkin has added 11 minutes of theatrically unseen material, boasted an impressive average of 1,413 admissions per print.
By comparison, Star Wars' re-release racked up 86,664 tickets from 404 prints on it first day.
Exorcist is now in line for a boost in its second week from annual promotional event Le Printemps du Cinema, which runs March 25-27. The film is expected to add 1.5m admissions to the 5.4m tickets it had previously registered in France.
Strong openings were also racked up last weekend in Germany and Switzerland, which respectively took $1.6m from 296 screens and $249,707 from 38 screens.
The film came in third position in both territories. In Brazil, Exorcist has clocked up nearly $2m in its first two weeks. In Italy, it pulled in $6.5m when it was released at the end of last year.