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A Quarter Billion for the King

December 23rd, 2003

As expected, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King dominated the international markets this week, setting many records along the way. It played in 28 countries on 7,403 screens earning $125.9 million, which is a record for international weekend. The film also broke individual market records for Wednesday openings in 15 countries, out of 17 Wednesday openings. It also broke weekend records in more than half a dozen other countries, including major markets like the U.K. and Germany. Worldwide totals for Return of the King are already at $250 million, (another record) putting it in 168th place on the all-time chart in just 5 days. Even with this success, it is unlike to unseat Titanic as the number one movie of all time, but it should become only the second film to earn $1 billion worldwide.

It's is not surprising that Finding Nemo dropped to second place, but is was a little surprising how well it stood up. The Pixar fish tale took in another $22.5 million; it dropped just 15% in France despite King's massive opening, for example. Totals now site at $362.4 million internationally, (14th all time) and $702.1 million worldwide, (also 14th place.) Finding Nemo is only the 14th film to break $700 million worldwide, and with its continued strong performances in the face of stiffer competition it should have a shot at $800 million and a place in the top ten.

Love Actually crossed the $100 million mark internationally this weekend and currently sits at $103 million. Another $6.3 million was added to its coffers as it too held up reasonably well in the face of much stiffer competition.

Return of the King doesn't open in Japan till mid-February, and that helped The Last Samurai regain a spot in the top five. The box office was almost flat with last week at $4.6 million, but that was still behind Finding Nemo by more than a million. The film did break $100 million worldwide, but it would need to more than double that figure to have a shot at making a profit before the home market.

In fifth and sixth place were two films with almost identical results when going up again Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. S.W.A.T. was cut in half taking in only $4 million. Hit the most was its U.K. box office, which dropped by 77%. Master and Commander: Far Side of the World fared a little better dropping just under 50% to $3.6 million. Worst performance was in Germany with a 70% drop.

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Source: Variety

Filed under: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Finding Nemo, S.W.A.T., The Last Samurai, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Love Actually