It has taken a mere 20 days for Mexico's latest blockbuster The Crime Of Father Amaro (El Crimen Del Padre Amaro) to smash the all time local box-office record set by Sex, Shame And Tears (Sexo, Pudor y Lagrimas). The romantic comedy took 24 weeks to earn 118m pesos while El Crimen earned 118,543,404 pesos ($11.8m) in just under three.

El Crimen now ranks among the top ten highest grossers of all time among both international and local films in Mexico. The story of a young priest who has an affair with a young woman in a small parish has ignited furious protests from various conservative/catholic groups in Mexico. All the free publicity has only served to drive up the box office. Distributor Columbia TriStar/BVI Mexico released it in nearly 400 screens, unprecedented for a local film.

In Brazil, meanwhile, Fernando Meirelles' City Of God (Cidade De Deus), which was widely acclaimed in Cannes this year, earned the second spot and the highest screen average after it opened last weekend. Platform released by Miramax subdistributor Lumiere EBA on 100 screens, it attracted a relatively impressive 133,641 admissions in three days and 1,336 (admissions) per screen average.