Friday Box Office Analysis

By Tim Briody

December 10, 2005

No wonder your nipples are hard.

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Between this and King Kong, 2005's box office might not turn out to be so bad after all.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

The C.S. Lewis adaptation opened to a stunning $23.4 million. What's up for debate at the moment is how much of this figure may be attributed to religious groups and church viewings. Such groups haven't been as excited for a movie like this since The Passion of the Christ. Comparing the two films, the Mel Gibson epic earned only $150,000 more on its first Friday than Narnia's estimate. Box office behavior these days has seen a reduction in the size of internal multipliers, but the comparable religious film earned $83.8 million over the weekend with an internal multiplier of 3.56. If Narnia performs at that level, its opening would be $83.3 million. That's a tad ambitious since the possibility exists that this title is more frontloaded. A hedged bet estimate is a 3.2 multiplier, indicating an opening weekend of $74.9 million. This would be a December opening record if it holds.


George Clooney's latest film expanded to wide release and earned $3.8 million Friday. On just 1,752 screens, that's good for the highest per screen average in the top ten among films not called The Chronicles of Narnia. Clearly the adult film of choice for those not interested in Narnia, look for Syriana to have a quite good performance over the rest of the weekend. A 3.1 multiplier would give Syriana $11.8 million for the weekend.

Notable Holdovers

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire falls 48% from last Friday. In the wake of The Chronicles of Narnia, that's to be expected. It should finish the weekend a little over $10 million.

Once again stretching the definition of notable, Aeon Flux falls a massive 69.2% from a week ago. This was also to be expected, given the reception of the film in its opening frame. Maybe it can recover to 60-65% over the rest of the weekend, but that's asking a lot.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe 74.9
2 Syriana 11.8
3 Harry Potter and the Goblet Fire 10.3
4 Walk the Line 5.4
5 Yours, Mine and Ours 5.1
6 Aeon Flux 4.4
7 Just Friends 3.8
8 Pride and Prejudice 2.5
9 Chicken Little 2.3
10 Rent 2.1



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