The Matrix Reloaded scored an industry record opening of $18.5m in Japanover the weekend, including previews, as the Warner Bros sci-fi sequel raisedits international total to an estimated $300m.

The remarkable Japanese bow(Yen 2.2bn) from 632 screens included the territory's biggest ever previewgross of $7.5m (Yen 892m) from advanced screenings on May 24 and 31.

In fact May 31 yielded thebiggest single-day preview gross of $4m (Yen 465m), beating Harry Potter AndThe Chamber Of Secrets by 3.5%.

Compared to opening weekendswithout previews it was the third biggest bow ever behind Harry Potter AndThe Sorcerer's Stone and HarryPotter And The Chamber Of Secrets.

According to Warner Bros thetotal opening gross was 259.3% bigger than The Matrix,107.2% bigger than Chamber Of Secrets (81% of Chamber's totalwithout previews), 137.1% bigger than Star Wars Episode II and 183.5% bigger than Spider-Man.

The opening was also 136.4%bigger than Spirited Away, HayaoMiyazaki's Oscar-winning animated feature and the biggest grossing film of alltime in Japan on $226m.

Warner Bros' film grossed$42m in all its territories over the weekend and has amassed almost $550mworldwide in four weeks.