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Narnia Roars Into #1 at the Box Office

By Brian B. — December 12th, 2005

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Christmas is arriving early this year for Buena Vista as The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe worked its magic on audiences in its debut and warmed up to a dazzling estimate of $67.1 million. Internationally, Narnia opened this weekend in 14 markets and generated an estimated $41.7 million, bringing the worldwide cume to a radiant $108.8 million to date.

The well-reviewed fantasy-adventure film, helmed by Andrew Adamson and based on the first book from the beloved series by author C.S. Lewis, generated the biggest debut ever for the comparable weekend and the second-highest December opening of all time. Only New Line Cinema's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the final film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and based on the series written by Lewis' friend, J.R.R. Tolkien, opened higher ($72.6 million). The other two films in the Lord of the Rings series, The Two Towers and The Fellowship of the Ring, are the third- and fourth-biggest debuts in December with $62 million and $47.2 million, respectively. Walden Media and Walt Disney Pictures co-produced the PG-rated Narnia, which cost about $150 million.

Magical forces clashed during the weekend at the international boxoffice, with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire jostling against the opening of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, and both films proved that audiences love well-made fantasies. Goblet maintained its top ranking with an estimated gross of $51.9 million from more than 11,200 prints in 56 markets, taking its international cumulative total to a heady $414 million. Its openings included Israel, where it grossed $837 from 37 prints, a new industry record there. In France in its second weekend, Goblet maintained its No. 1 spot with an estimated $11 million from 950 prints, taking its cume there to just less than $33 million. The U.K. remains the film's biggest market, with its fourth weekend grossing $3.5 million from 1,050 prints, taking its total there to about $70 million. Narnia opened in just 13 markets but was No. 1 in each and grossed an estimated $42 million from 2,800 prints.

Dont't forget to also check out: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

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