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Last Updated: Monday, 9 June, 2003, 11:19 GMT 12:19 UK
Matrix breaks Japanese record
Keanu Reeves in The Matrix Reloaded
The film has replaced Harry Potter's hold on the box-office record
The Matrix Reloaded has broken box-office records in Japan in its first week on release.

The film, the sequel to 1999's The Matrix, took more than Y2.2 bn (£11.5m) over the opening weekend, including nearly Y892m (£5m) from advanced previews alone.

On 31 May the film took Y465m (£2.5m) to beat the biggest one-day record, previously held by Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Warners, the studio releasing the film, said its opening weekend was more than two-and-a-half times bigger that that of The Matrix's. It was also almost twice that of last year's blockbuster hit, Spider-Man.

Elsewhere in the world the sci-fi film, which stars Keanu Reeves as a messianic freedom fighter, took more than $42m (£26.2m) last weekend.

It has now made more than $550m (£343m) around the world, despite lukwarm reviews from critics and many fans.

The figures included $19.8m from the UK, where the film saw the fourth-biggest opening weekend in British history, and the biggest ever for a film rated 15 or higher.

Pirated copies

The film was released across the world - apart from Japan - on the same day in an effort to beat piracy, which has become a huge problem for blockbuster Hollywood films.

Last week BBC News Online reported that pirated copies of the film were already appearing in markets in London.

Stars Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Jada Pinkett Smith have launched the movie with appearances at premières in Los Angeles, Cannes and London.

The sequel to 1999's The Matrix will be followed in November by a third movie, The Matrix Revolutions.

Both films were shot together with a reported cost of $300m (£187m).


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