"Sex" sells at theaters in America, Europe

Sun Jun 1, 2008 9:28pm EDT
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Sex and the City" fashioned a surprisingly strong opening at the North American box office on Sunday, as frenzied female fans used the romantic comedy as an excuse for a big party.

The movie, based on the groundbreaking HBO television series of the same name, was also the top choice in Britain and Germany, based on preliminary estimates.

In the United States and Canada, the film earned $55.7 million during its first three days, easily beating the expectations of its distributor, Warner Bros. Pictures. The Time Warner Inc unit had hoped for an opening in the $25 million to $35 million range.

Industry observers had assumed "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" would whip up a second weekend in first place. Instead, the Paramount Pictures adventure slipped to No. 2 with $46 million.

The Rogue Pictures horror film "The Strangers" kicked off at No. 3 with $20.7 million, also surpassing predictions.

If the streets seemed unusually devoid of women, that's because they were likely lining up for "Sex," which revolves around the romantic and fashion dilemmas confronted by four Manhattanites.

Coming to theaters four years after they ended their six-season run on HBO, columnist Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) and her gal pals unleashed a frenzy among the show's fans, who organized large gatherings to catch up with their heroines' exploits.

Warner Bros. said women made up 85 percent of the audience on Friday night.   Continued...

<p>Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis and Sarah Jessica Parker in a scene from "Sex and the City". REUTERS/New Line Cinema/Handout</p>