Kong Climbs to the Top
Source: Box Office Mojo
December 18, 2005

The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with the studio estimates for the weekend. Be sure to stay tuned there for the final figures on Monday.

The big new movie this weekend was Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong, released by Universal Pictures into over 3,500 theatres on Wednesday. After a slow start with only $16 million in two days, the film picked up steam over the weekend, earning just over $50 million, an average of about $14 thousand per theatre. While its five-day total of $66 million was nearly $10 million less than The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings grossed during the same pre-holiday period four years ago, it will be the fourth biggest December opening movie ever if those numbers stick. Kong is expected to continue to bring in word-of-mouth business over the holidays.

After a great opening weekend, the second biggest December opening ever, Walt Disney's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, directed by Andrew ("Shrek") Adamson, dropped 52% to make way for Kong. Its second weekend take of $31 million was still respectable, as it brought its total up to $112.5 million in just ten days.

Opening in third place, Thomas Bezucha's dramedy The Family Stone, starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Diane Keaton, grossed an estimated $12.7 million in 2,466 theatres, an average of $5,160 per theatre. Its Christmas themes should help it continue to do well over the holidays, especially among women.

Warner Bros. took the fourth and fifth spots with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Stephen Gaghan's Syriana, respectively. The fourth "Potter" film earned roughly $5.9 million in its fifth weekend, bringing its total gross over the $250 million mark, where it should be firmly set as the second highest grossing film of 2005. It also passed the gross of the third installment, "Prisoner of Azkaban," to become the third highest grossing "Potter" movie to date. The political thriller Syriana took a bit of a tumble in its second weekend in nationwide release with $5.4 million, a 53% dropoff from last weekend. It has earned an estimated $22.3 million.

In sixth place, the Johnny Cash biodrama Walk the Line, with Golden Globe nominees Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, continued to do decent business, adding another $3.6 million to its impressive $82.5 million gross. The Dennis Quaid family comedy Yours, Mine and Ours grossed roughly $3.4 million to bring its total gross to $45 million, essentially making back its production budget in its fourth weekend.

After getting into the Top 10 with its impressive opening weekend per-theatre average, the Ang Lee cowboy romance Brokeback Mountain expanded into 64 more theatres nationwide, where it grossed roughly $2.3 million, enough to break into the Top 10 in eighth place. Its estimated average of $31 thousand per theatre is expected to be the highest for the weekend.