New hit film "2012" beats estimate by $5 million

Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:21pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Disaster movie "2012" wreaked even more havoc at the box-office than expected, Columbia Pictures said on Monday, taking in $230.4 million worldwide on its opening weekend.

Sony said the movie that uses the Mayan calendar and other end-of-days prophecies to depict the world's demise came in above its initial box office estimate on Sunday of $225 million globally. Moviegoers in North America chipped in $65.2 million, while international audiences contributed $165.2 million.

The only major market where it is not playing is Japan, where the film opens next weekend.

Columbia, a unit of Sony Corp, said "2012" recorded the highest worldwide opening ever for an original film not based on an established franchise, brand or best-selling novel.

The overall record of $394 million was set earlier this year by "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." "2012" ranks at No. 9.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant)