Unlikeits limp performance in the US, Oliver Stone's Alexander has gone down a stormin the country that inspired the film - Greece.

The filmopened in Greece this weekend and attracted 104,215 admissions nationwide on 85screens through local distributor Spentzos Film.

Thestrong opening puts it on a par with hits such as Troy, Harry Potter, TheLord Of The Rings and local blockbusters Touch of Spice and TheBrides, all of which hovered around the 100,000 admissions mark for theiropening weekend.

Athens accountedfor 51,115 admissions on 36 screens while Thessaloniki, the capital of thenorthern province of Macedonia, the birth place of Alexander the Great,registered an impressive 19,479 admissions on 15 screens.

AntonisManiatis of Spentzos Film said: "This is far beyond our expectations,considering the duration of the film and the celebration of a local footballderby over the weekend"

The factthat Alexander is a major international production focusing on a Greekhistorical figure, as well as featuring a score by internationally acclaimedlocal composer Vangelis, is credited for the high admissions.

Alexander almost never made it to thetheatres in Greece. Last Friday a group of Greek lawyers decided to try to banthe film on the grounds that Stone was denigrating the figure of Alexander theGreat by making reference to his bisexuality - something which was actuallyvery common in ancient Greece.

The casewas reported in the national and international media, provoking a considerablelocal scandal.

However,the film launched on schedule after the lawyers decided at the very last momentto give the green light. They did soafter attending a specially arranged press and invitations-only screening lessthan 12 hours before the opening of Alexander.

Afterthe screening they conceded the film did not seem to denigrate the figure ofAlexander the Great. Their climb-down may have been helped by the fact thedistributor decided to precede the film with a disclaimer saying that Alexanderwas not a historical documentary but a fictional and artistic vision byOliver Stone.