Pic grosses $8.6 mil in first weekend

Santiago Segura’s “Torrente 3: The Protector” broke Spanish box office records for its first weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, grossing E7.2 million ($8.6 million) off 465 prints, some 60% of total weekend B.O. here.

“Torrente 3″ made eight times as much as the opening frame of the first in the franchise, “Torrente: The Dumb Arm of the Law,” which seized $1.1 million in 1998, and more than twice the $4.2 million opening session of “Torrente 2.”

“Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” previously held the Spanish opening weekend record with $7.3 million for the weekend of May 20-22.

The “Torrente” trilogy was directed, written and toplined by Segura, who plays a scumbag ex-cop employed as bodyguard. Oliver Stone has a cameo role.

Segura conceived and led pic’s marketing campaign.

“The marketing made all the difference,” said Yelmo Cineplex development director Pablo Nogueroles. “It’s difficult to get actors involved in the promotion of their films (in Spain).”

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