“Evita” ruled London’s West End after a Friday opening, breaking the weekend house record at London’s Odeon West End with £110,272 (approximately $187,000). Cinergi Pictures’ Madonna starrer, released in the U.K. by Entertainment Films, out-sang “Speed’s” previous house record of £92,809 for the same frame at the double-screener, which holds a combined 1,400 seats.

The tuner rang up big numbers in the exclusive outing despite the holiday partying customary for the Friday before Christmas.

Although “Evita” is unspooling with subtitles in overseas territories for audiences accustomed to dubbed English-lingo pics, weekend openings were strong in Italy (100 million lira for 6 prints over 2 days,), Greece (7 houses, 14,000 admissions) and Holland, where the tuner reigned in Amsterdam.

The pic, which co-stars Spain’s Antonio Banderas, is expected to open in Madrid and Barcelona on Jan. 24. A source at Buena Vista Intl., which has “Evita” for Spain and Latin America, said the Euro openings were being watched closely, as release strategy is still being formulated for Spanish-speaking audiences.

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