Ridley Scott's highly anticipated film Gladiator thrashed Australian competition when it reported its opening four-day gross May 4-7. The Roman epic became the fourth highest opening film ever in the territory marginally beating The Lost World: Jurassic Park distributed in May 1997. Playing on 287 screens, the UIP release scooped a four-day gross of $3.4m (A$5,927,458) which also made it the biggest success story to-date for the distributor's Australian office.
The Australian film Looking For Alibrandi from Roadshow Film Distributors used Gladiator's male-skewed audience as an ideal counter-programming slot earning it second place in the chart with a four-day gross of $734,000 (A$1,248,052) from 173 screens. 20th Century Fox's Star Wars: Episode One - The Phantom Menance and Independence Day and Columbia TriStar's Men In Black are responsible for the three biggest weekend results of all time.
The DreamWorks SKG and Universal Pictures co-production also scored well in Mexico over its opening three day weekend where it racked up $1.5m from 433 screens (including Thursday night previews).
The international roll-out continues in quick succession and will be completed within two months. Next to open is the UK on May 12, followed by Italy, Spain and Brazil on May 19, Germany on May 25 and Japan on June 17.