Media Asia's Initial D zoomed to the top ofthe box office chart in five Asian territories on its opening weekend (June23-26).

The $12m car racing drama has also smashed records inall five territories. It scored the biggest opening of all films so far thisyear in Hong Kong, China and Malaysia and the biggest opening of all Chinesefilms in Singapore and Taiwan.

Directed by Infernal Affairs duo Andrew Lauand Alan Mak, the manga adaptation is the first major local release of thesummer and features a strong cast of Asian idols - including the big screendebut of Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou.

On home turf, the film grossed $1.9m (HK$15m) overfour days from 99 screens. In comparison, the highest-grossing US film in HongKong so far this summer - Mr And Mrs Smith - grossed $1.6m in its firstweek.

In China the film opened on 450 screens and took$2.9m (RMB24m) in the first four days. It added a further $0.72m (S$1.2m) from38 screens in Singapore and in Malaysia grossed $0.37m (MYR1.4m) from 25screens.

The film also performed well in Taiwan where it took$0.8m (NT$25m) nationwide from 66 screens. Chinese-language product has a tinymarket share in Taiwan although it was once an important market for Hong Kongfilms. Stephen Chow's Kung-fu Hustle bucked the trend last December witha record-breaking opening of $1.9m in Taipei alone.

Initial D's strong results will bring cheer to the Hong Kongfilm industry which saw output and box office slump even further in the firstquarter of the year. It also confirms the box office might of Lau and Mak whowere responsible for the Infernal Affairs trilogy - one of Hong Kong'smost successful franchises. The first Infernal Affairs film grossed$1.7m in Hong Kong on its first weekend and went on to take $7m.