The lion was still roaring as the new year got underway withBuena Vista International's (BVI) The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, TheWitch And The Wardrobe holding onto the international lead. With athree-day weekend of $41.5m and a four-day (including Monday which was aholiday in many territories) of $53.5m.
This brings Narnia's international cumulative grossto a massive $225.5m and its worldwide gross to $450.3m. It is already BVI'sfifth biggest live action film of all time, behind Pirates Of The Caribbean:The Curse Of The Black Pearl, Armageddon, The Sixth Sense andPretty Woman.
Another slew of strong openings included Australia, where itopened on Boxing Day (December 26). Narnia's first official weekend sawa gross of $4.8m, a total 30% higher than the combined grosses of King Kong,Fun With Dick And Jane and Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire -the next three films on Australia's chart. In its first seven days it hasearned a massive $11.2m.
Proving that pre-recognition of the series on which the filmis based is not necessary Narnia also scored a set of impressive Asianlaunches. South Korea saw the fantasy film gross $5m from 125 screens in itsfirst weekend, while Taiwan delivered $1.3m from 60 screens. Both were BVI'sbiggest ever opening in the territories. Also on strong form was Thailand wherethe film took $1m from 96 screens.
The real strength, however, is being seen in the film'sholdovers. The UK was always expected to be the best international territoryfor the film, which is based on a much-loved British novel, and so it isproving holding onto first place once again with a $5.1m weekend. This raisesits cumulative gross to $57.7m (£33m). In just four weeks Narnia hasalready surpassed BVI's total grosses in the territory for titles such as PiratesOf The Caribbean and The Incredibles, while the company's bestresult (Toy Story 2 grossed £44m in 1999) looks obtainable.
France had a zero drop-off in week two adding another $8.4mweekend for a cumulative of $21m retaining first place. Russia also held firstwith $2.2m for a $5.9m 10-day total.
In Germany the film's fourth weekend results saw it returnto first place having been held off the lead spot in its second and thirdweekends. It rose 4% week-on-week for a $2.2m weekend and $19.7m in total.
Spain also saw a chart climb as Narnia moved up tofirst having been third last weekend - suggesting word-of-mouth is provingpotent furl for the film.
In Mexico a $1.1m weekend brought its total to $18m and BVIexecutives expect Narnia to surpass Finding Nemo's result in theterritory by mid-week.
A number one launch in France saw the film's opening 20%higher than King Kong's the previous week. A weekend of $8.7m gave BVIits biggest live action opening to date.
BVI also enjoyed another strong weekend with ChickenLittle. The animated film added $9.5m this weekend for a $91.4m runningtotal with approximately 40% of the international market yet to open. Australiaopened the film on January 1 and in two days took in $1.3m. Meanwhile Japanwatched the film rise 31% week-on-week on its second weekend for a $3.4mweekend and a $10.6m running total.
Getting off to a less auspicious start was Sony's TheProducers. On its first weekend in the UK the film finished sixth with$850,000 from 350 sites while Brazil's $105,000 from 70 screens ranked eighthin that territory. The UK was the first international territory to open thefilm. It launched on December 26 and grossed $2.3m in its first seven days.
Fun With Dick And Jane opened December 26 inAustralia and finished second. Its first four-day weekend delivered $1.85m from247 sites, while the seven day result was $3.5m. A good start for the JimCarrey comedy which has taken $4.7m from two territories to date.
Fox International opened Cheaper By The Dozen 2 inMexico for a chart leading $1.5m from 485 screens. Combined with two furtherlaunches and a handful of holdovers, including the UK's second weekend whichalso took $1.5m, the comedy grossed $5.5m over the weekend for a $12.3minternational cumulative.
The Family Stone also received a raft of openingsincluding France, Australia, Poland, Singapore and Thailand. The Christmascomedy grossed $3m at the weekend for Fox and has a $10.9m internationalcumulative.