"The Legend of Zorro," with Banderas' masked swordsman fighting a secret society aiming to ravage the United States amid California's statehood drive in 1850, came in well behind the 1998 summer hit "The Mask of Zorro," which opened with $22.3 million.
Considering ticket prices are up about one-third since then, "Legend of Zorro" drew only about half the crowds domestically as the first movie over opening weekend.
Distributor Sony noted that solid returns in Latin America and Europe offset the weaker showing for "Legend of Zorro" on the homefront. In about 50 international markets, the sequel took in $27 million, up 22 percent from the debut of "Mask of Zorro" in those same countries, said Rory Bruer, Sony head of distribution.
"In regards to how you go about releasing your film, it's just a matter of what brings the most dollars in box office, whether domestic or worldwide," Bruer said.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures will be released Monday.