Amenabar pic takes $10.3 million in four days

Alejandro Amenabar’s Roman-Egypt epic “Agora” has become this year’s highest-grossing local film in Spain — taking E7 million ($10.3 million) in just four days.

Bowed Friday by Fox, and toplining Rachel Weisz, pic’s three-day $7.9 million opening beat this year’s previous best openers “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” and “Seven Souls,” both with $4.7 million.

It’s the second-highest bow for a local film ever, only bettered by Santiago Segura’s “Torrente 3: El Protector,” which made $10.6 million four years ago.

Spain’s bow is “Agora’s” first commercial opening worldwide.

“Agora’s” blockbusting bow exceeded exhibitors’ expectations.

“We expected good results, but this is spectacular,” said one multiplex booker, predicting “Agora” would end up with around $32 million in Spain.

Telecinco Cinema CEO Ghislain Barrois said the reasons for the pic’s boffo bow was “the movie itself, Amenabar, who’s a brand, word-of-mouth, and the blitzkrieg campaign that Fox and Telecinco put together.”

Fox and Telecinco’s blockbuster-level campaign saw muscular TV, billboard and building advertising. Amenabar and Weisz have dominated magazine interviews from mid-September.

“Agora” is produced by Fernando Bovaira’s Mod Prods., Amenabar’s Himenoptero and Telecinco Cinema, the film arm of broadcaster Telecinco. Focus Features Intl. has international rights.

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