'Narnia,' 'King Kong' Set to Lead Box Office Again (Reuters)
By Reuters|Friday, January 06, 2006
LOS ANGELES - The Lion and the monkey look likely to hold their ground atop the weekend box office, fending off three new releases and the expansion of Steven Spielberg's Olympics thriller Munich.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe reclaimed the throne during the four-day New Year's holiday frame, ending the two-weekend reign of King Kong. After four weeks, Narnia has earned more than $230 million, while King Kong has pulled in $178 million after three.
Munich expands Friday to 1,489 theaters, nearly triple last weekend's count. Spielberg's dramatic thriller about the aftermath of the killing of 11 Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Olympics has taken in $17.1 million after 13 days.
Grandma's Boy, an R-rated comedy produced by Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Prods., offers more escapist fare. Aimed at teens and twentysomethings, Boy is about a man in his 30s who moves in with his grandmother and her two senior roommates, played by Doris Roberts, Shirley Jones and Shirley Knight. The film was not screened in advance for critics.
Horror fans have two new films to choose from this weekend, promising scares, chills, thrills and gore.
Lionsgate's R-rated Hostel, starring Jay Hernandez and Derek Richardson and written and directed by Eli Roth, revolves around two Americans backpacking through Europe who are lured to an out-of-the-way hostel in Slovakia promising a dream respite that turns into a nightmare.
Ben Kingsley stars in Romar's BloodRayne, a horror film reportedly made for $25 million based on the popular video game. Uwe Boll helmed the R-rated fantasy actioner set in Eastern Europe in the 1700s.
ThinkFilm's Fateless will open in one theater in New York. The unrated drama, directed by veteran cinematographer Lajos Koltai, is set during World War II and centers on the deportation of Hungarian Jews to concentration camps.
Indican Pictures' Moonlight opens in Los Angeles and New York. The unrated thriller is a Dutch film that originally was released in 2002 and won several festival awards.
Disney's Casanova expands Friday to about 900 theaters in its second weekend, and the Weinstein Co.'s Matador goes to 28 locations from four, also in its second round.