Disaster film "2012" strikes worldwide box office
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Moviegoers worldwide welcomed the apocalypse a little early as the disaster movie "2012" swept through theaters during the weekend with one of the best openings of the year.
The latest end-of-days picture from "Independence Day" director Roland Emmerich sold $225 million worth of tickets globally, distributor Columbia Pictures said on Sunday.
The contribution from the United States and Canada was $65 million, at the upper end of industry forecasts of $55 million to $65 million. The international tally of $160 million was derived from 105 territories.
Columbia, a unit of Sony Corp, said "2012" marked the highest worldwide opening ever for an original film not based on an established franchise, brand or best-selling novel.
The record for a worldwide opening is $394 million, set in July by "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." The movie earned $158 million from North America and $236 million from 54 foreign territories, according to tracking firm Box Office Mojo. But that film enjoyed a two-day head start by opening on a Wednesday.
(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Eric Walsh)