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King Kong tops US festive box office

King Kong

Story by Jack Foley

KING Kong roared supreme at the North American box office over Christmas, beating another family favourite, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in the process.

A surge in ticket sales on Christmas Day saw Peter Jackson’s costly remake take $31.4m (£18.1m) between Friday and Boxing Day.

Narnia, meanwhile, took $30.1m (£17.3m). Both had been released before Christmas.

Of the Christmas Day releases, Jim Carrey’s latest comedy Fun With Dick and Jane came third with $23.5m (£13.5m). The film is a remake of a 1977 film which saw George Segal and Jane Fonda playing a married couple who turn to crime to pay the bills.

The impressive box office figures mean that Hollywood will end 2005 on something of a high after a generally poor time at the cash registers for the rest of the year.

The festive weekend saw receipts that were 20% higher than in 2004, when Meet The Fockers proved the big winner.

Of the other releases debuting over Christmas, Steve Martin comedy sequel Cheaper By The Dozen 2 came fourth with $14.8m (£8.5m) despite poor reviews, while comedy-drama The Family Stone, with Sarah Jessica Parker, was fifth on $10.9m (£6.3m).

Steven Spielberg’s Munich took $5.7m (£3.3m) and The Producers took $3.5m (£2m) despite being on limited release.