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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 April, 2005, 10:12 GMT 11:12 UK
Box office record for Interpreter
Nicole Kidman in The Interpreter
Kidman's thriller has proved a worldwide box office hit
Political thriller The Interpreter has become the first film of 2005 to top the international and North American box offices.

The movie, starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, led the international chart in its third week of release, according to Screen International.

Directed by Sydney Pollack, it leads the North American chart after taking $22.8m (11.9m) on its opening weekend.

The film has also topped the UK box office for the last two weeks.

The Interpreter sees Kidman play an African interpreter at the United Nations who overhears a plot to kill her country's leader, with Sean Penn as the secret agent who investigates the claim.

Summer blockbusters

Its US success was attributed to its appeal to older audiences, with over-35s comprising 60% of its audience.

The thriller, which replaces Vin Diesel children's comedy The Pacifier at the top of the international chart, has also been number one in Germany and Australia.

Screen International expects the thriller's box office success to be "the first in a string of such occurrences".

Film companies have a number of major movies lined up for simultaneous global releases, beginning on April 29 with XXX: The State of the Union, the follow up to Vin Diesel's XXX, this time starring Ice Cube.

Elsewhere in the chart, French comedy Brice de Nice kept fifth place, having grossed $21m (11m) in three weeks in France, Belgium and Switzerland.

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