Thursday, December 15, 2005

King Kong Opens to Just $9.7 Million


Variety reports that Peter Jackson's King Kong opened well below Universal's hopes and industry expectations with $9.7 million domestically on Wednesday. That's about half of the opening day take of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring four years ago, which the studio reportedly said was a comparable film.

Universal is now hoping that good word of mouth will help push the film to a stronger weekend than the Wednesday figure historically indicates, as well as long playability. One thing to keep in mind is that it is finals week for many college students around the country, which is definitely one of the film's targeted groups. They most likely can't see the movie until this weekend.

Overseas grosses were stronger. Kong opened internationally with $8 million at 4,659 playdates in 36 markets. The biggest numbers came from Australia, where it grossed $860,000 at 232 playdates, UIP's second-largest Wednesday opening, and in Germany with $664,000 in 739 theaters, similar to War of the Worlds.

Kong had the biggest ever Wednesday opening in Peter Jackon's home based of New Zealand , grossing $297,000 with 73 plays, as well as Malaysia, where Kong set a record with $254,000 on 49 playdates. The film did well throughout Asia, with similarly strong numbers in the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.