News + Notes

Planet Matrix

A record-setting worldwide bow dwarfs Neo's domestic haul.

We don't know if it's blue or red, but here's a pill to swallow: The Matrix Revolutions debuted to an estimated $203 million around the globe (including $83.8 mil at home), the most money ever made by a movie in one five-day stretch. The film broke ground by opening simultaneously in 109 markets and 43 languages. ''We wanted to give the worldwide audience the opportunity to experience the finale at the same time,'' says Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, international distribution president at Warner Bros. Pictures.

The release pattern was also designed to curb piracy by flooding the market. Result: a financial field day for the studio (a division of EW parent Time Warner) and a nice balance to Revolutions' disappointing Stateside take (see page 65). It's a tally that underscores the value of overseas grosses -- last summer's The Matrix Reloaded, for example, made $282 million here and a whopping $456 million abroad. Put simply, international box office is the emerging market, says Kwan-Rubinek. Hollywood, synchronize your watches.

'REVOLUTIONS' PER-SCREEN AVERAGE

Japan $22,861 France $11,863 Korea $16,511 Russia $27,106 Brazil $5,336

BASED ON STUDIO ESTIMATES OF FIRST FIVE DAYS OF RELEASE

Originally posted Nov 21, 2003 Published in issue #738 Nov 21, 2003 Order article reprints