New Line's TheLord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King is expected to pass $300m any day now in North Americafollowing an estimated $30.8m third weekend haul that boosted its domesticgross to $291.9m.
Internationalresults are even more impressive as the fantasy finale raised its tally to astaggering $385m, which combines with domestic for a $677m worldwide runningtotal. Executives expect to release individual territory breakdowns today (Jan5).
For the secondweekend in a row The Return Of The King kept 20th Century Fox's family comedy Cheaper By TheDozen in second place asthe latter added $21.9m for an impressive $86m total in its second week.
Without anymajor new releases there was little movement overall, except for Buena Vista'sacclaimed comedy Calendar Girls, which vaulted 16 places to ninth on $4.6m for $7.1m followingwide expansion in its third week.
The GoldenGlobe-nominated Helen Mirren and Julie Walters star in the acclaimed true-lifestory of a group of Women's Institute members who decide to raise money forcharity by posing semi-nude in a calendar. Nigel Cole directed and the filmaveraged $6,174 from 745 theatres.
Columbia'sromantic comedy Something's Gotta Give climbed one to third on $12.5m for $81.7m in its fourthweek, while Miramax's heavyweight awards contender Cold Mountain added $11.7m for $43.9m after 11 daysand dropped one place to fourth.
Warner Bros' TheLast Samurai is easilyon its way to $100m after adding $7.5m for $90.1m in its fourth week andremaining in eighth place.
Overall boxoffice for the top 12 titles reached $124.5m, approximately 14% higher than thesame period last year, when The Two Towers led the charts and grossed $25.9m in its third week for a$261m running total.
Unconfirmedfigures put total domestic box office for 2003 at $9.4bn, roughly 1% behind therecord $9.52m recorded in 2002.
Next weekend's newwide releases include the Warner Bros comedy Chasing Liberty, starring Mandy Moore and Matthew Goode;and Miramax's comedy My Baby's Daddy, which stars Eddie Griffin, Anthony Anderson and Bai Ling.
Estimated TopTen US Jan 2-4 2004
Film(Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimatedtotal to date
1 (1) TheLord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (New Line) NLI $30.8m $291.9m
2 (2) CheaperBy The Dozen (Fox) FoxIntC;l $21.9m $86m
3 (4) Something'sGotta Give (Columbia)CTFDI/Warner Bros Int'l $12.5m $81.7m
4 (3) ColdMountain (Miramax)Miramax Int'l $11.7m $43.9m
5 (5) Paycheck (Paramount) UIP $10m $38.8m
6(6) Mona Lisa Smile (Columbia/Revolution)CTFDI $8.7m $50.2m
7 (7) PeterPan (Universal)UIP/CTFDI $8.5m $33.8m
8 (8) TheLast Samurai (WarnerBros) Warner Bros Int'l $7.5m $90.1m
9 (25) CalendarGirls (Buena Vista)$4.6m $7.1m
10 (9) BadSanta (Dimension)Miramax Int'l $3m $57m