In the ongoing box-office fight between magic and brute force, "The Chronicles of Narnia" prevailed over "King Kong," reclaiming the #1 crown.
After two weeks of being relegated to the #2 spot, "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" outsold "King Kong," earning more than $32.8 million during the long New Year's weekend, according to early estimates. Based on C.S. Lewis' classic fantasy novel and starring a cast of talking animals, dwarves, centaurs and an evil witch, the film has earned more than $224.8 million in its four weeks in theaters (see " 'The Chronicles Of Narnia': The Next Lit Hit?").
"King Kong" was narrowly edged off the throne, earning just $1.7 million less than "Narnia." After two weeks at #1, the film that stars Jack Black as a pretentious filmmaker and Naomi Watts as a B-list actress who becomes the unwitting love interest of Kong, dropped to #2 with more than $31.1 million (see " 'King Kong': A Love Story With A Giant, Hairy Heart").
Audiences continued to be amused by "Fun With Dick and Jane," a comedic remake starring Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni as a couple that takes up a life of crime after Carrey's character loses his job (see "Rewind: Fun With The Original 'Dick' And 'The Producers' "). Despite mixed reviews, "Fun With Dick and Jane" held on to the #3 spot for the second week in a row, earning $21 million.
"Cheaper by the Dozen 2" similarly clung to the same rung on the box-office top 10. In the sequel to the 2003 film, Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt star as the heads of the Baker family (with children played by Hilary Duff, Tom Welling and Piper Perabo, among others), which finds itself in competition with a rival family (led by Eugene Levy and Carmen Electra) while on vacation. The comedy came in at #4 for a second week, earning $19.3 million.
Romantic comedy "Rumor Has It" jumps from #10 to #5 with more than $11.6 million this week. The film stars Jennifer Aniston as Sarah Huttinger, a woman who discovers her family's romantic escapades were the inspiration for the film "The Graduate." Kevin Costner co-stars as Internet billionaire Beau Burroughs (who has been involved with many women in the Huttinger family), and Mena Suvari plays Aniston's screen sister.
"The Family Stone" joined the list of films that held their ground, coming in at #6 for the second week in a row with $10.2 million. The comedy stars Sarah Jessica Parker as a neurotic New Yorker who travels to her fiancee's home for the holidays and finds that she's a bit of an outcast.
Rounding out the box-office top 10 this week are "Memoirs of a Geisha," which dropped from #5 to #7 with $10 million; "The Ringer," which fell from #7 to #8 with more than $8 million; "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," which held on to the #9 spot with more than $7.4 million; and "Munich," which slipped from #8 to #10 with more than $6.1 million.
Overall, ticket sales were up from the corresponding weekend last year.
Next week, look for "Hostel" and "Grandma's Boy" to debut on the box-office top 10.
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