‘Narnia’ hits $530 million at global box office

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Lingering holidays in many parts of the world kept the foreign box office buzzing during the first full weekend of the new year.

“Chronicles of Narnia,” “King Kong” and ” Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” moved strongly into 2006, while some surprise titles hit the top in Germany, France and Spain, and local-language films dominated Italy, Brazil and South Korea.

“Narnia” earned $35.5 million from 44 markets to lift its international gross to $282 million. The offshore weekend results brought “Narnia’s” global take to $530 million.

The film adaptation of the classic C.S. Lewis children’s story appears to be arousing similar passions in many markets as “The Passion of the Christ,” with the Christian parable theme being played up in many religious-centered countries. In Poland, it opened to $1.5 million, Disney’s biggest opening ever in the market. The $1.2 million from Argentina was another company record, as was the $1.3 million from Colombia.

Three weekends in France have brought in $26.5 million, five in the U.K., $67 million; three in Italy, $17.5 million; three in Australia, $17.7 million; five in Germany, $24 million; five in Spain, $19.8 million; and two in South Korea, $9.3 million.

“King Kong” picked up $22.9 million from 54 territories, becoming Universal’s third-highest-grossing film in the overseas market behind “Jurassic Park” and its “Lost World” sequel. “Kong” reached an international total of $271.1 million in 26 days. The U.K. has provided $45.3 million to date; France, $22.8 million; Germany, $18.8 million; Spain, $13.4 million; Australia, $13.4 million; and Japan, $15.2 million. The global total is $464 million.

The unstoppable “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” raised its international total to $570.3 million (worldwide: $851.7 million) as it added $12.7 million from 58 markets.

“Chicken Little” scored $6.1 million from 37 countries to reach $105.9 million. Hot Oscar contender “Brokeback Mountain” opened in the U.K. to $1.5 million (including previews).

Despite the clout of “Narnia” and “Kong,” three other U.S. entries reached first place in three markets: “Fun With Dick & Jane” came in No. 1 in Germany with $2.5 million as part of a $5.4 million weekend in 13 markets; “Aeon Flux,” a domestic dud, hit the top in Spain with $1.7 million; and Nicolas Cage’s “Lord of War” was high on France’s chart with $2.8 million.

In Brazil, the homegrown “Se Eu Fosse Voce” took in $1.7 million. In Italy, “Tiamo in Tutte Le Lingue del Mondo,” No. 1 for four weeks, has tallied $20.4 million; and South Korea’s “King’s Man” has pulled in $6.2 million over two weekends.

More weekend action: “Jarhead ” kicked off its overseas release in nine markets, grossing $3.8 million; “The Family Stone” moved up to $18.3 million after a $5.3 million weekend; and “Cheaper by the Dozen 2” delivered $5.2 million.

“Saw II” pulled in about $4.4 million for an international total of about $41.5 million.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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