'The Impossible' Breaks Box Office Records in Spain

The impossible Still Ewan with Kids - H 2012

The impossible Still Ewan with Kids - H 2012

The movie, featuring hyper-realistic water scenes, benefited from Warner's market savvy release over a holiday weekend.

MADRID - Juan Antonio Bayona's powerful recreation of the 2004 tsunami, The Impossible, broke all-time Spanish box office records for the biggest four-day opening, with 10.3 million euros ($13.3 million) and 1.4 million tickets sold.

Warner Bros. released Bayona's much-anticipated follow-up to The Orphanage over a three-day weekend after wide acclaim at Toronto, San Sebastian and Sitges.

The Apaches-Telecinco Cinema co-production, which stars Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts as a British couple vacationing with their three children in Thailand when the natural disaster hits, boasts intense scenes that forced paramedics to wheel people out on stretchers at festival screenings.

"The Impossible is the proof that in Spain we can make films that compete with Hollywood," said Telecinco Cinema CEO Ghislain Barrois. "At Telecinco Cinema, we are proud to have worked again with Juan Antonio Bayona, whose opera prima we co-produced. And to have partners like Apaches Entertainment with us in the adventure."

Grossing $11.6 million in the first three days, Impossible looks poised to outperform previous first three-day record-holders, Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End ($11.45 million) and The Da Vinci Code, ($11.38 million).

Lionsgate will release The Impossible in the U.S. on Dec. 21.