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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sci-fi fantasy "Jumper" led the worldwide movie box office after opening at No. 1 in North America and in countries including Britain and Korea, befitting its story about a man who can instantly leap around the globe.
The 20th Century Fox release, starring Hayden Christensen as a "teleporter" and Samuel L. Jackson as his blond-maned rival, earned $67.6 million during the weekend, the News Corp-owned studio said on Monday.
Moviegoers in the United States and Canada, primarily male youths drawn by its "Matrix"-style action, contributed $38.3 million. The data consist of actual sales from Thursday to Sunday and an estimate for Monday, which is the Presidents Day holiday in the United States. Final figures will be released on Tuesday.
The project, budgeted to cost in the $80 million range, was a partnership between Fox and production firm Regency Enterprises, which is controlled by billionaire investor Arnon Milchan. Largely lambasted by critics, it was directed by Doug Liman ("The Bourne Identity") from an adaptation of Steven Gould's young-adult sci-fi novels "Jumper" and "Reflex."
"Jumper" also earned $29.3 million after opening in 30 international markets. This increasingly common practice of simultaneous openings allows studios to align worldwide marketing efforts and combat piracy. Data are a combination of three- and four-day sales through Sunday, the studio said.
The movie topped the charts in such countries as Britain ($6.1 million), Korea ($4.8 million), Spain and Russia (both $3.7 million), Australia ($3.1 million) and Taiwan ($1.3 million). The studio said the film will expand to the rest of the world in March, coinciding with the Easter holiday.
Elsewhere in North America, the Walt Disney Co urban dance romance "Step Up 2 The Streets" opened at No. 2 in North America with five-day sales of $28.1 million. "The Spiderwick Chronicles," a fantasy based on a series of children's books, debuted at No. 3 with $26.8 million. It was released by Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc.
Reporting by Dean Goodman; editing by Cynthia Osterman