The first week of 2006 atthe UK box office spelled good news, while the battle for the lead continuedunabated three openers impressed in a deluge of records.
Momentum Pictures saw itsbiggest opening of all time with comedy JustFriends. The Ryan Reynolds title grossed $3.1m (£1.75m) including previews- $2.7m (£1.55m) without. This beat last February's family opener Racing Stripes, which opened on $2m(£1.15m) for the distributor.
Entertainment FilmDistributors also saw tremendous success with the 125 print release of
Joining it in the top filmsunder 150 prints rankings was Woody Allen's MatchPoint. The drama was the legendary director's biggest ever opening in the
"We're delighted. It's greatto see a Woody Allen film working to such a wide audience," said Alex Hamilton,president of Icon Film Distribution UK.
With its previews included Match Point made more money in a singleweekend than the director's previous film, MelindaAnd Melinda, in its entire run ($1.3m).
Meanwhile at the top of thechart the battle for pole position raged on with King Kong taking the crown back with $3.8m (£2.16m) from The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, whichtook $3.78m (£2.13m).
Sam Nichols, senior vicepresident of Momentum Pictures summed up both her own company's first weeksuccess and the marketplace view in general. "What a great start to the year."