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‘Jurassic’ renders Japan B.O. record extinct

Dino-fever is spreading fast as “Jurassic Park” had monster openings in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the U.K. and Mexico last weekend, smashing B.O. records in every territory.

The grand total from the five markets was $ 20.5 million, surpassing even the most optimistic predictions of exex at Universal and United Intl. Pictures.

In Japan, Steven Spielberg’s opus set an all-time opening record with a two-day haul of $ 8.376 million on 237 prints for a per-screen average of $ 35, 346. The tally includes previews on the previous Saturday night, July 10.

Playing on 31 screens in the nine key cities, the blockbuster broke 20 house records.

In the U.K. and Ireland, dino-pic bagged T4.875 million ($ 7.444 million) in three days on 434 prints, including previews Thursday. That equates to more than 1.75 million paying customers.

It eclipsed the previous three-day record of “Batman Returns,” which made T2. 737 million on 410 prints, including previews. Exhibs said this past weekend marked the first time in the U.K. and Ireland that total B.O. exceeded T6 million ($ 9.12 million) — of which 80% was generated by “Jurassic Park.”

Its weekend haul also beat the opening-week record held by “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” which did T4.64 million.

In Taiwan, the bounty was $ 941,860 in two days on 23 screens, and in Korea $ 787,460 in two days on 20.

Rounding out a sensational weekend, the film grabbed $ 2.974 million in Mexico in three days on 179 screens, including previews.

“We were confident the picture would set new highs, but we did not expect it to beat the previous records by so much,” said Hy Smith, UIP senior VP worldwide marketing.

Coupling the weekend openings with the film’s staying power in Latin America (topped by Brazil with nearly $ 7 million and Argentina with almost $ 3 million) , Smith said the figures “are a continuation of the dino-fever that began with the U.S. opening.

“Since the historic U.S. opening, we have been getting unprecedented publicity overseas and promotion partners are coming out of the woodwork.”

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