Sunday, December 11, 2005

Narnia Dominates with $67.1 Million


Walt Disney Pictures' The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe exceeded expectations, opening to an impressive $67.1 million. Director Andrew Adamson's adaptation of the C.S. Lewis novel marks the second-biggest opening ever for a film in December, surpassing The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers ($62 million) and trailing only The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($72.6 million). It is also the 23rd best opening of all-time domestically and the third biggest debut of 2005 so far. The fantasy-adventure, budgeted at about $180 million, opened in 3,616 theaters and averaged $18,546 per location.

Warner Bros. Pictures expanded Stephen Gaghan's Syriana into 1,723 theaters which allowed the film to climb to the second spot with $12 million. Made for $50 million, the political thriller, starring George Clooney, Matt Damon and Jeffrey Wright, has earned $13.5 million in three weeks.

WB's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire dropped 48.1% in ticket sales its fourth weekend but still managed to add $10.3 million for a grand total of $244.1 million. The $150 million fourth installment in the franchise now stands at 37th on the all-time domestic blockbuster list and 29th on the worldwide list with $576.9 million, just behind War of the Worlds ($588.9 million).

Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, from 20th Century Fox, collected a healthy $5.8 million in its fourth weekend, a dip of just 39.7%. James Mangold's $28 million-budgeted drama, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, has made $77 million. Likewise, Paramount's Yours, Mine and Ours dropped just 37.6% in its third weekend with $5.2 million for a total of $40.9 million. Directed by Raja Gosnell, the comedy was produced for $45 million.

Paramount's Aeon Flux, however, took a hefty 63.5% drop its second weekend with $4.6 million, good for sixth place. Starring Charlize Theron, the $62 million big screen adaptation stands at $20.3 million.

Also notable is Warner Bros.' The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience which entered the top 12 with $946,000 from just 66 IMAX theaters, an average of $14,333.

In limited release, Sony's Memoirs of a Geisha earned $647,000 from eight theaters for an average of $84,250 per site. Rob Marshall directed the $85 million drama, starring Zhang Ziyi, Ken Watanabe and Michelle Yeoh. Even more impressive was Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain, with Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, which garnered $545,000 from just five theaters, an average of $109,000. That marks the 9th highest per theater average ever for a film. Also, The Weinstein Co.'s Mrs. Henderson Presents, starring Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins, earned $58,200 from six theaters.