'Lion' topples 'King Kong' at New Year box office
Reuters - 1/2/05

'Lion' topples 'King Kong' at New Year box office

LOS ANGELES, Jan 2 (Reuters) - The family fantasy "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" returned to the top of the North American box office during the New Year holiday weekend, ending the two-week reign of "King Kong," according to studio estimates issued on Monday.

"Narnia" sold about $32.8 million worth of tickets in the four days beginning Friday, followed by "King Kong" with $31.6 million and the Jim Carrey comedy remake "Fun with Dick & Jane" with $21 million. Both recorded upticks from last weekend, when sales were hit by the Christmas, and there were no new wide releases this weekend to steal their thunder.

The top two films have been engaged in a tight battle for the last three weeks, and it did not end this weekend, with "King Kong" managing to outsell "Narnia" on Sunday, according to "King Kong" distributor Universal Pictures.

But Walt Disney Co.'s (DIS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) "Narnia" was projected to win the other three days, and is way ahead in terms of overall sales, grossing $224.8 million after four weeks, compared with "King Kong's" $174.3 million after three.


Disney said "Narnia" passed the $200 million mark on its 22nd day (i.e. Friday), setting a new live-action speed record for the company. It expects the adapaption of the C.S. Lewis novel will have grossed $275 million by the end of the Martin Luther King holiday in two weeks.
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