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Last Remains First as King Fails to Return to Top Spot

January 27th, 2004

The weekend take for The Last Samurai dropped less than expected, just 23% or $31.3 million, and that helped it maintain first place for the second weekend in a row. It also crossed $200 million internationally and $300 million worldwide. A mid-February opening in Russia is the last major opening for The Last Samurai, but strong legs in many markets could pull in another $100 million internationally.

A record opening in Italy and a near record in Russia helped Lord of the Rings: Return of the King weekend total jump almost 25% to $28.7 million, but that wasn't enough to regain top spot. It was enough to push it's international total to $538.7 million, already number one for the year and now seven all-time, just behind Fellowship of the Ring. Worldwide its $876.5 million is enough to overtake Finding Nemo for top spot for 2003 and is just a week away from the top five overall. And with its Japanese opening still a few weeks away, $1 billion worldwide is almost inevitable.

A half a dozen new openings, including three first place debuts, helped push Mona Lisa Smile into third place over the weekend, although it was far behind the top two. The film earned $8.8 million, most of which came from just two markets, Germany ($2.8 million) and France ($2 million.)

Scary Movie 3 was on the list almost entirely thanks to one debut. The spoof earned $6.3 million of its $7.3 million in its U.K. debut. That figure was more than the combined debuts of the first two film. It is unlike Scary Movie 3 will match its domestic numbers internationally, but $200 million worldwide isn't out of the question.

A record opening for an animated movie in Turkey helped close out Finding Nemo's international run. Catching another $5.2 million was enough to push its international total past $500 million and it should surpass Independence Day for 8th place all-time during the mid-week. Worldwide, it has a shot at 8th, but being behind Fellowship of the Ring $860.7 million to $843.9 million, it won't be as easy.

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Source: Variety

Filed under: International Box Office, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Finding Nemo, The Last Samurai, Scary Movie 3, Mona Lisa Smile