Follow us on

Return of the King Opens with Estimated $73.6 million

December 21st, 2003

New Line announced today an estimated debut weekend total of $73.6 million for Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - the 7th biggest single Friday-Sunday performance in history. The trilogy finale also scores a host of other records.

Its 5-day opening weekend total of $125.1 million in the US is the second-biggest extended opening weekend, behind The Matrix Reloaded's 4-day record of $134.3 million. Even more impressively, its worldwide opening mark of $246.1 million is a new global opening record.

Other marks set: the biggest single day in December ($34.5 million on Wednesday) and the biggest December weekend. The trilogy movies between them now, incredibly, hold the top 5 weekends in December - the only 5 weekends they have been in release during the month.

Sony's attempted piece of counter-programming, Mona Lisa Smile, made a tepid $12 million debut, although the studio is hoping it will have decent legs through the holiday period.

Overall, box office was essentially flat from last year, in spite of the King's record debut, representing a general weakness in the market leading into the Holidays. Other studios have clearly struggled to position their big releases around New Line's sure-fire blockbuster, and they will be hoping to pick up some business as the Ring's fervor dies down.

Filed under: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Mona Lisa Smile