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Theater Counts: Narnia Still Widest Release, Kong to Win Weekend

December 15th, 2005

The Chronicles of Narnia remains the widest US release this weekend, adding 64 venues from last week to play in 3,680 theaters. Its second weekend will be a crucial indicator of its long term future, but all eyes will be on King Kong. The ape movie opened with a soft $9.8 million on Wednesday, and Universal will be hoping it picks up pace going into the weekend.

The most obvious comparison movie for Kong is 2003's Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which had a similar runtime, opened on the same Wednesday, and was, of course, also directed by Peter Jackson. Return of the King earned $34.5 million on its opening day. But the built in audience for that movie makes the comparison somewhat less than fair.

Even so, The Fellowship of the Ring opened with over $18 million in fewer theaters in 2001. In that light, $10 million looks like a problem with Universal, with their main hope being that the movie can generate good word of mouth and grow its business throughout the weekend. They can draw hope from Shrek 2's first weekend. That monster movie earned $11.8 million on its opening day, and went on to gross $108 million Friday through Sunday. King Kong is unlikely to recover that dramatically, but it's far too early to write it off.

RankMovieTheatersChangeWeeks in
1Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The3,680+642Buena Vista
2King Kong (2005)3,568New1Universal
3Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire3,185-5435Warner Bros.
4Yours, Mine and Ours (2005)2,723-4874Paramount
5Walk the Line2,664-3705Fox
6Family Stone, The2,465New1Fox
7Aeon Flux2,058-5503Paramount
8Just Friends1,882-5824New Line
9Syriana1,775+234Warner Bros.
10Chicken Little1,602-7247Buena Vista

27Bluff Master43New1UTV
28Producers, The (2005)6New1Universal
29Tres entierros de Melquiades Estrada, Los5New1Sony Classics
30Grace Lee Project, The2New1Women Make Movies
31Electric Shadows1New1First Run
32Happy Here and Now1New1IFC Films

Estimated Theater Counts for Next Week's Openers

Fun With Dick And Jane3,000Sony
Cheaper by the Dozen 23,000Fox
Rumor Has It2,800Warner Bros.
Wolf Creek1,700Weinstein/Dimension
Ringer, The1,600Fox Searchlight
Memoirs of a Geisha1,400Sony
Producers, The (2005)950Universal
Casanova35Buena Vista
White Countess, The5Sony Classics
New World, The3New Line
Cache2Sony Classics
Intruder, The1WellSpring
Master of the Crimson Armor1Weinstein

See the full theater count chart

Filed under: Theater Counts, King Kong