Los Angeles - Snow White & the Huntsman turned out to be a fairer box-office beauty than Hollywood anticipated.
According to studio estimates on Sunday, Universal Pictures' action yarn inspired by the fairy-tale princess debuted strongly at No 1 with $56.3m domestically. That's about $20m higher than industry expectations.
Without the built-in business that generally goes with a sequel, Snow White was a question mark as a draw for young males who typically make up most of the action crowd. The movie wound up drawing a fairly even audience, with female fans accounting for 53% of viewers.
"We weren't even thinking we could do beyond $40m, especially for a title where you didn't know if the males are going to show up. And they did," said Nikki Rocco, head of distribution for Universal.
Overseas, Snow White added $39.3m in 45 markets, putting the worldwide total at $95.6m for the movie that stars SA's Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth.
Snow White bumped Sony's Men in Black 3 from the top spot and into second-place with $29.3m.
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