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International Weekend: Narnia Knocks off King Kong

December 28th, 2005

It was a confusing weekend on the international charts as many European and Latin American markets cinemas were closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Because of this, a couple of major studios didn't even track the box office numbers, and this means we have less details than normal for the weekend.

It was a close race, but Narnia was able to climb to the top of the international box office this weekend with $35.2 million on 3,908 screens in 25 markets. It nearly doubled its market count, including a number one, $8.7 million debut on 908 screens in France, and it also opened first in Russia with $2.72 million on 303. The film had to settle for third place in Italy, but earned a strong $2.6 million on 456 screens. It also climbed back into first place in the U.K. with $4.92 million over the weekend and $42.73 million overall, but that was more due to King Kong's complete collapse than Narnia's staying power as the film was down 42%. Including Monday, the film has made $138 million internationally and $303 million worldwide; that is likely enough to cover the film's production budget and it should pay for its P&A budget as well before long.

King Kong's performance of the international scene has been mixed, at best. On the one hand, earning $34.3 million on 5,680 screens in 55 markets is a reasonable sophomore stint and a two-week total of $153.6 million is nothing to balk at. But on the other hand, the film did cost more than $200 million to make and it was expected to do much better. Holdovers were not kind to Kong as the film fell 68% in the U.K. to $3.34 million on 476 screens for a two-week total of $23.10 million, while it was little better in Germany, down 61% to $2.50 million on 743 screens for a $10.48 million total. One bright spot was South Korea, which is a market where quick decents are common. However, King Kong managed to grow by 12% over the weekend, adding $3.39 million on 303 screens to its $9.54 million total so far.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire might be slipping down the charts, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have any life left in it. This weekend the film earned an additional $23 million on 7,400 screens in 59 markets and now has $497 million internationally at the end of the weekend. Not much in the way of new openings this weekend, but it did top Hong Kong with $2.85 million on just 59 screens while it had to settle for second place in Russia with $2.50 million on 272 screens over the weekend and $2.88 million including Thursday.

Chicken Little climbed back into the top five with $10 million over the weekend and $78 million in total. Nearly half of that figure came from Japan where the film finished second with $4.8 million (including previews), which is more than double what King Kong made when it opened last weekend.

That's really all the movies that were making noise this weekend, leaving fifth place as a bit of an enigma. It most likely went to a local film, perhaps Master Of The Crimson Armor, but that won't be known to till the international details come in later in the week.


Filed under: International Box Office, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, King Kong, Chicken Little