The hotly awaited film version of the global bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code scored big at box offices over the weekend, according to preliminary studio estimates issued Sunday.
Around the world, the movie took US$224 million at the weekend, despite controversy and bad reviews, its distributor has said.
Only Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith made more on the first weekend, US$253 million.
The early numbers indicated that The Da Vinci Code has broken the record for ticket sales, at US$147 million in three days.
Made for US$125 million, The Da Vinci Code stars Tom Hanks as an academic unraveling an ancient conspiracy in the Christian church.
The movie becomes the first big success in the opening weeks of the summer blockbuster season, after action extravaganzas Poseidon and Mission Impossible III posted weaker starts in early May.
Director Ron Howard delivered what has been widely described as a relatively faithful screen version of author Dan Brown's novel, which has sold more than 60 million copies around the world.