Narnia had a huge opening weekend, pulling in $67.1 million (that number will probably fall a little once the final numbers are crunched, but probably won't dip below $65 million). Disney should be thrilled and overjoyed with this release. Good for them!
Not, however, good news for those who have been insisting that Narnia will beat Kong next weekend. Remember, that using the most conservative estimates--which means guess that Kong will open very weakly and that Narnia will hold incredibly well--we calculated that Narnia would have to open somewhere between $70 million and $87 million in order to be within striking distance of Kong next weekend. It's now all but inconceivable that Narnia will be Kong next weekend and, if Kong is as good as the early reviews, then it's also difficult to believe that Narnia (which will be helped by being a children's film, but only has so-so word of mouth) will out-gross it in the long run. I suspect that, when all is said and done, Narnia will finish with somewhere around $280 million in North American box office.
Bonus: Narnia did a bit better than I thought it would--I suspected it would be around $59 million--largely because I was figuring it to be on 3,200 screens. Instead it debuted on 3,616 screens. Where will it go from here?
If Narnia performs similarly to Goblet of Fire, and I think they're pretty analogous properties--it'll have a profile similar to this. That means that it will retain its high screen count this weekend and, more crucially, for the two following weekends, both of which are holidays. That means it could dip to about $37 million next weekend, but could uptick over the Christmas holiday and show excellent legs over New Year's.
Update: Inexplicably, Hugh Hewitt seems to be gloating. Maybe he thinks that the "tens of millions" of people who were going to see The Great Raid on its opening weekend are going to materialize next weekend for Narnia. And maybe--Army of the Dead-style--they will!
That would make Hugh Aragorn, son of Arathorne, and heir to the throne of Isildur, right?
12 minutes ago