Return of King Outlasts Big Fish at Box Office

The tug of war for box office supremacy was intense last weekend between THE RETURN OF THE KING and BIG FISH, with the Tim Burton film appearing to be the winner by a nose. But when all the numbers were officially tabulated, it turned out there was no stopping THE LORD OF THE RINGS finale, which stayed atop the chart for the period ended Jan. 11, 2004. New Line's RETURN OF THE KING grossed another $14.2M, giving the Peter Jackson film (with VFX by his Weta Digital) a cume of $312.3M, which ranks 13th on the all-time list. Meanwhile, Sony's BIG FISH wound up in second place with a very impressive $13.8M (with VFX by Sony Pictures Imageworks), as it went wide for the first time. So far, BIG FISH has $23.3M.

CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN from Fox was rich with family viewers, placing third in its third weekend with $11.7M for a total of $101.1M for the Steve Martin starrer, with VFX by 11:11 Mediaworks and Digital Filmworks. Miramax's COLD MOUNTAIN heated up the box office for $7.8M to stay in fourth place, producing $55.3M in its third outing. Double Negative and Framestore in the U.K. contributed VFX. SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE moved down to fifth for Sony with $7.7M in its fifth outing, totaling $92.5M, with Scott Rader as vfx supervisor. Miramax's MY BABY'S DADDY debuted in sixth place with $7.5M and Warner Bros.' CHASING LIBERTY debuted at number seven with $6M. Audiences paid $5.1M to see Paramount's PAYCHECK in eighth place, adding up to a disappointing cume of $46.4M for the Ben Affleck vehicle featuring VFX from Rising Sun Pictures, Creo Collective and CIS Hollywood. Warner Bros.' THE LAST SAMURAI (with VFX from Flash Film Works, Rising Sun and Matte World) slipped to the ninth spot with $4.5M, giving the Tom Cruise actioner $97.1M. Sony's MONA LISA SMILE period drama starring Julia Roberts dropped to 10th place, taking in $4.3M and $56.8M in its fourth week, with Framestore contributing VFX.

Sony Pictures Classics' critically acclaimed THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVEVILLE took in $155,806 decreasing its theaters to 34, for a total of $1,280,038 to date. Box office information obtained from boxofficemojo.com.