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'Matrix Revolutions' sets all-time record

Film squeaks by 'Two Towers' for five-day take

"The Matrix Revolutions" made more than $200 million worldwide during its first five days of release.

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'Lord of the Rings'

LOS ANGELES, California (Hollywood Reporter) -- Neo is indeed mightier at the box office than Frodo.

In a game of revision and counter-revision, the title holder for the biggest worldwide opening in history -- which has passed during the past few days from "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" to "The Matrix Revolutions" and then back to "Two Towers" -- is once again in the "Matrix" camp.

After adding in some late-arriving international grosses, Warner Bros. is now claiming victory for "The Matrix Revolutions," which amassed $202.8 million in its first five days since opening last Wednesday. That puts it slightly ahead of New Line's "Towers," which racked up $201.9 million in its first five days late last year.

The contest over bragging rights began Sunday when Warners estimated the five-day opening of "Revolutions" at $204 million. The studio issued a news release dated Monday that hailed the film as "the biggest consecutive five-day opening in motion picture history."

At the time, New Line's last-reported tally on "Towers" stood at $201.4 million.

Advantage: Warners.

But later Monday, Warners revised its number down slightly -- to $201.4 million.

That would have put Warners in a dead heat with New Line, except that since New Line last reported its $201.4 million figure in May, it revised the "Towers" number, raising it to $201.9 million, which put "Towers" $500,000 ahead of "Revolutions."

Advantage: New Line.

On Wednesday, however, as a few more international dollars trickled in, Warners revised its "Revolutions" take up to $202.8 million, slightly above the revised New Line number on "Towers."

Current winner: Warners.

Overall winner: Time Warner, which owns both studios. (It's also the parent company of CNN.)

Two Towers
"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" held the previous record for worldwide opening.

"We've never released this broadly before and in this many countries, so it's been an incredible challenge coming up with an accurate box office count for this many territories," said Veronica Kwan-Rubinek, president of Warner Bros. Pictures International Theatrical Distribution.

"When we released in 107 markets, we were in many territories that we don't traditionally track daily box office figures."

"Revolutions" went out in a record 94 countries, 107 markets and with more than 10,000 prints internationally in an unprecedented day-and-date, hour-to-hour release November 5.

Kwan-Rubinek also noted that various countries were on holiday Monday, which delayed getting accurate numbers, and she also said that smaller countries usually take extra time to tally.

The newly revised international box office for "Revolutions" is $119 million, up slightly from the $117.6 million reported by the distributor Monday. In either case, in terms of its international grosses, "Revolutions" easily topped the first five days of "Two Towers" in the international marketplace, which brought in $99.8 million.

"Revolutions" earned a relatively disappointing $83.8 million in its first five days of release in North America, compared with about $102 million for "Two Towers."

In its first seven days, "Revolutions" has amassed a worldwide gross of $232.2 million, with $93.6 million coming from the domestic side and $138.6 million from international receipts. Traditionally, the international side of the "Matrix" series has outperformed the domestic side, and the third film in the series looks to continue that pattern.

Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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