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‘Noah’ opens as strong No. 1 at box office in Mexico, Korea

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“Noah,” the special effects-laden Biblical epic starring Russell Crowe, is off to the fast start overseas that distributor Paramount Pictures was hoping for.

“Noah” brought in $14 million from Mexico and S. Korea in No. 1 openings ahead of its debut in the United Stateson Friday. International grosses will be critical for the $125 million “Noah,” which is tracking to debut in the $40 million range domestically.

Paramount was encouraged, and pointed out that the total from the two markets topped those of films including “Gravity,” “Inception” and “Skyfall” at a similar point in the same territories.

In Korea, “Noah” dominated with $8.3 million from 500 screens, topping the grosses of all the other films in the market combined. The $5.7 million from 635 theaters that “Noah” scored in Mexico was the biggest opening of the year in that country, and the best ever for a film starring Crowe there.

“Noah,” which co-stars Anthony HopkinsEmma WatsonLogan Lerman and Jennifer Connelly, will open in 20 more foreign markets next week, including Russia and Australia.

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