What Women Want has given Mel Gibson his biggest ever opening in Australia, the country in which he grew up and which made him a star via the Mad Max movies.

The film also scored Roadshow Film Distributors its biggest ever opening and the strongest ever performance in Australia by a romantic comedy.

What Women Want took A$7.74m in its first seven days, which is the fifth biggest opening week of all time behind Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace (20th Fox, A$11.72m), Independence Day (20th Fox, A$9.82m), Mission: Impossible 2 (UIP, A$8.2m) and Gladiator (UIP, A$7.82m).

Test screenings proved so positive that Roadshow opened the film on Monday January 8, which was earlier than planned and out-of-step with the usual Thursday opening of its competitors. Despite its first week takings representing three days only, and all other films being for seven, it came in third with A$2,625,845 from 239 screens, behind UIP's Meet The Parents and BVI's Coyote Ugly. Judging by the A$5,117,384 it has done since in the four-day weekend up to and including Sunday January 14, and helped by the increased exposure on 312 screens, there is little doubt it will hold first position in its second week.

Film (Distributor) Opening week A$mWhat Women Want (Roadshow) 7.74
Ransom (BVI) 4.38
The Patriot (Columbia TriStar) 3.80
Lethal Weapon 4 (Roadshow) 3.66
Lethal Weapon 3 (Roadshow) 2.81
Payback (Roadshow) 2.72
Maverick (Roadshow) 2.68
Conspiracy Theory (Roadshow) 2.62
Braveheart (Fox Columbia TriStar) 2.08
Lethal Weapon 2 (Roadshow) 1.81

List provided by Roadshow Film Distributors