Television Listings

Disaster film "2012" strikes worldwide box office

 Cast member John Cusack arrives for the premiere of the film
Cast member John Cusack arrives for the premiere of the film '2012' at Regal Cinemas LA Live in downtown Los Angeles, November 3, 2009. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
— image credit: Reuters

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)

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