Sony Pictures ReleasingInternational (SPRI) opened Closer at number one in five out of sevenmarkets at the weekend as the picture's allure proved irresistible in Europe.
The torrid drama ranked topin the UK on $3.1m on 276 screens, and the four other number one debutsoccurred in Germany on $2.3m on 474, the German-speaking part of Switzerland on$385,000 on 27, Austria on $268,000 on 44, and Israel on $140,000 on 18.
Overall Closergrossed $6.9m on 1,100 screens in eight markets, raising its internationalcumulative total to $13.8m.
SPRI executives willcontinue an aggressive releasing strategy throughout Europe in particular, andthere are scheduled openings next weekend in France, Spain, Belgium and Brazil.
Kung Fu Hustle rustled up more action for the distributor at theweekend, passing $50m on the back of a mighty number one debut in South Korea.
The martial arts comedyopened top in its ninth Asian market on an estimated $2.3m on 180 prints, awide release that yielded a per-screen average of $12,777.
Overall the picture grossed$4.3m on 1, 200 screens in nine markets for a $54.3m international runningtotal.
Kung Fu Hustle is already the fourth biggest release of all time inTaiwan, the fifth in China and the sixth in Hong Kong. It opens in its finalAsian market of Thailand on Feb 10.