Mission: Asia is a success

Cruise starrer grosses $2.6 mil across eight territories

HONG KONG — “M:I3” roared off to a whammo start Wednesday in eight territories around Asia, grossing over $2.6 million on opening day.

In Indonesia, pic was United Int’l Pictures’ biggest ever opener with $84,000 (Rup732 million) scored from 69 screens. That was also the country’s third biggest opener of all time.

In the Philippines, pic was the biggest opener of 2006, clocking $247,000 (Pesos12.66) from 100 screens. Numbers also put it top of the “Mission” franchise, 147% up on “M:I” and 91% up on “M:I2” and 12% ahead of Tom Cruise-starrer “War of the Worlds,” which was a big hit around the region.

Malaysian numbers were also franchise winners. With $277,000 (Ringgit601,000) from 51 locations it was the biggest opener of 2006, 193% ahead of the first “Mission” and 128% up on “M:I2.”

Thai gross of $327,000 (THB12.3 million) made it the biggest UIP title of all time and the country’s biggest non-holiday Wednesday.

Biggest numbers of all came in Korea, where it scored $926,000 (Won856 million) and outgrossed “King Kong’s” opening frame.

In Singapore, it scored $196,000 (S$309,000) from 29 locations and was the biggest Cruise opener in the territory.

Hong Kong gross was a very comfortable $207,000 (HK$1.61 million), while in Taiwan it garnered $366,000 (NT11.6 million) at 20 locations, which were billed only as previews.

Aside from the mishap in China, where the film is now delayed until July, UIP said the planets aligned for the Asian release. Pic had good Internet buzz, had been extensively trailered and received good early reviews. “This is really about the film, which we really expect to have the best legs,” Kurt Rieder, UIP’s VP sales and marketing, Asia, said.

Other local conditions helped. It was the first of the summer blockbusters and encountered no weather problems and no major competing sports events.

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