Despite its comparatively weak open at home, Mission: Impossible III was gangbusters abroad, earning over $70 million in foreign markets. The world-wide weekend total, an estimated $118 million, is the most earned by any MI film during its opening weekend -- a fact made even more impressive by the lack of a holiday, and weather in Europe that was reportedly so gorgeous that one would think audiences would rather frolic in parks than sit in the dark with Tom Cruise. The film opened #1 in every single market in which it debuted and set several records in the process, most notably in South Korea, where its $10.6 million set a new high-water mark.

One does wonder, however, quite how much stock to put in the those records, and in the total that has Paramount crowing. After all, if a movie in a popular franchise, starring a popular actor, opens in more theaters than any other film ever has, isn't it to be expected that the movie will break some records? What would be interesting to see is what these numbers would look like if the film had opened on the same number of screens as, say, Mission: Impossible II. If someone can do some math magic and work out the approximate numbers, that would be a useful comparison.