December 19, 2005

King Kong at box office: Size matters

Though King Kong roared to an impressive $140 million from over 15,000 screens worldwide with $63 million coming from North America alone, box-office experts said the grosses were below expectations by about 30 percent. Yet, nobody is denying the film is a solid hit, and that it would have made more money had it been shorter.

The comedy Family Stone, which opened at number three with a pleasing $12.7 million, is also a success story, but its real potential will be known in about two weeks.

It followed The Chronicles Of Narina, which minted a solid $31 million in its second weekend and saw its total reach an admirable $112 million.

The big surprise of the week was the Ang Lee-directed western Brokeback Mountain which is showing in just about 69 theatres and yet jumped into the top 10 chart. The hauntingly sentimental film is also expected to garner top Oscar nominations.

1. King Kong

Cast: Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Andy Serkis.
Director: Peter Jackson.
Gorilla-size thrills and emotional pull.

To some, the film takes too long to warm up.

Number of weeks: New.
BO Verdict: Hit.

The review

2. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Cast: Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Liam Neeson.
Director: Andrew Adamson.
Charming and scary at the same time. Lavishly made film with plenty of thrilling scenes.

Second half drags.

Number of weeks: 4.
BO Verdict: Hit.

3. The Family Stone

Cast: Dermot Mulroney, Diane Keaton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes.
Director:Thomas Bezucha.
Sentimental comedy with lots of appeal to women; Diane Keaton.

Laughs become less and less in the second half.

Number of weeks: New.
BO Verdict: Hit.

4. Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire

Cast: Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Brendon Gleeson, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith.
Director: Mike Newell.
Relentless suspense, good humour and awesome special effects.

No concessions for those who haven't read the book.

Number of weeks: 5.
BO Verdict: Superhit.

The review

5. Syriana

Cast: George Clooney, Christopher Plummer, Chris Cooper, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet.
Director: Stephen Gaghan.
Taut and well-acted political thriller.

Can get too complex and confusing.

Number of weeks: 4.
BO Verdict: Sinking fast.

6. Walk The Line

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon.
Director: James Mangold.
Vibrant story of sin and redemption, strong performances.

Little appeal for the instant gratification crowd.

Number of weeks: 5.
BO Verdict: Hit.

7. Yours, Mine & Ours

Cast: Dennis Quaid, Rene Russo, Linda Hunt and Rip Torn.
Director: Raja Gosnell.
Viewers may find it to be easy to digest entertainment.

A great cast with little to do.

Number of weeks: 4.
BO Verdict: Success.

8. Brokeback Mountain

Cast: Jake Gyllenhall, Heath Ledger.
Director: Ang Lee.
Heart-warming, vivid story of friendship.

Viewers may not be comfortable with its gay theme.

Number of weeks: New.
BO Verdict: Promising.

9. Just Friends

Voices: Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart, Anna Faris and Chris Klein.
Director: Roger Kumble.
Sentimentality and romance.

On the whole, lacks sparkle and depth.

Number of weeks: 4.
BO Verdict: Success.

10. Aeon Flux

Cast: Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Marton Csokas, Jonny Lee Miller, Sophie Okonedo
Director: Karyn Kusama.
Charlize Theron.

Lifeless film.

Number of weeks: 3.
BO Verdict: Flop.

  Text: Arthur J Pais
  Design: Uday Kuckian

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