Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines grossed $12.5m (Y1.458bn) and recorded 1,015,589 admissions on 550 screens on its opening weekend in Japan - the sixth largest such release ever in the country.
Excluding preview screenings, its total of $9.5m for the weekend of July 12 and 13 broke the all-time record for the Toho chain set in 2001 by Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away - the film that later set the all-time Japanese box office record.
The percentage of dubbed prints is up 20 percent over the previous instalment in the series - a strategy that is drawing a wider demographic, from primary school students to seniors, than the usual Hollywood summer release.
Distributor Toho-Towa expects T3 to outperform T2, which earned distributor revenues of $49m in 1991.
Japan is the first major international opening for T3 outside the US - and its strong result augurs well for its ongoing roll out around the world through Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International. It launches in the UK on August 1, on July 31 in Germany and August 6 in France.