‘Matrix’ mints mega-moolah worldwide

O'seas B.O. makes overall haul $166 mil

The world has flipped for “The Matrix Reloaded.”

Warner Brothers and Village Roadshow rolled out the second installment in their philosophical FX-laden trilogy, and total cume in a lucky 13 territories has already reached $31.6 million.

Pic generated 6,136,220 admissions to 2,877 screens. Adding to the domestic weekend tally of $135 million, pic has generated an international haul of $166 million.

In seven markets the reported weekend was shorter by a day or two because of a hype-generating embargo that saw “Reloaded” held until after its red-carpet preem at the Cannes Film Festival in France Thursday night.

The French public lapped up the fanfare, buying 1.7 million tickets worth $11.6 million.

Because of the three-day versus the usual five-day opening weekend, Warners is trumpeting “Reloaded” as the “First film in history to have three consecutive days of more than 100,000 admissions in Paris.”

But the May 2002 release of Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones” is a better comparison: “Reloaded” beat “Clones” three-day opening weekend by a resounding 11%.

“Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions” lensed in Sydney during 2001-02, and Village Roadshow used the home territory launch to quell growing investor alarm at its decision to liquidate assets to free up funds for movie production.

While the stars swanned the Croisette, the Village Roadshow’s joint chairmen John and Robert Kirby tub-thumped to investors at a premiere for business types at a Village multiplex in outer-suburban Knox, one of two such events in Melbourne.

The company’s share price plunge was arrested while the B.O. return was glorious — $7.2 million from 480 sites in three days versus the usual four-day weekend. “Reloaded” recorded the biggest Friday and Saturday of all time, the biggest three-day opening ever and it registered the third biggest opening weekend. The result was 84% ahead of “X2: The X-Men United” and 5% ahead of “Spider-Man.”

In Holland “Reloaded” grossed $1.9 million from 140 screens — also the third biggest opening weekend — topping the four-day opening weekend for “Spider-Man” by 41% and “X2” by 152%.

In Thailand, “Reloaded’s” full weekend play accounted for about 95% of the weekend business. Its 310 screens generated $1.7 million, over 50% ahead of “X2” and “Star Wars: Episode II.”

In Taiwan, 310 screens also generated $1.7 million (including sneaks), 132% up on “X2” and 24% on “Star Wars: Episode II.”

In Singapore the pic grossed $963,000 from 59 prints (including sneaks); in Turkey, $1.6 million from 136; in New Zealand, the pic took $1 million from 70 screens; and in Belgium $1.4 million from 99.

“Reloaded” releases in the rest of the world this coming weekend, except Japan and India.

With that in mind, Warners foisted its Aussie outback kidpic “Kangaroo Jack” on to the Brits last weekend for a respectable $1.2 million from 372.

Columbia TriStar’s “Anger Management” held in Germany and Austria; the cume from its nine territories and 1,260 screens is $14.3 million. The Jack Nicholson-Adam Sandler laffer rose 3% in Germany for $2.2 million from 863 screens, cume is $5.1 million. In Austria it dropped 15% to take $236,000 from 75, cume is $653,000.

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