As expected, The Lord Of The Rings - The Return Of The King dominated the local New Year holiday box office charts, selling a further NZ$1.1m worth of tickets from 114 screens. With a total of NZ$7.5m by its third week it has sailed well clear of the NZ$6.5m reached by recent big performers Finding Nemo (in 12 weeks) and that other production featuring spectacular local scenery, Whale Rider (in 37 weeks).

The King's screen average of NZ$9,647 was challenged only by newcomer Master And Commander (NZ$9,158 from 50 screens). The only other film to manage a screen average over NZ$4,000 was Fox's arthouse release L'Auberge Espagnole - released in NZ as The Spanish Apartment (NZ$8,125) which had a good Christmas on its two screens.

Kids' movies Peter Pan, Brother Bear and Looney Tunes - Back In Action have had disappointing holiday action; while the UK adult comedies Love Actually and Calendar Girls continue to perform well in the top 10.