Japanese Opening Propels Narnia to #1

LWW Movie Poster

LWW Movie Poster

The power of the Japan market for Hollywood films was amply demonstrated last weekend as “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe” propelled itself back into the No. 1 position at the international box office on the strength of its debut there.

Narnia, which began its international campaign almost three months ago, bowed Saturday in Japan for a weekend box office estimate of $9.2 million (5.2 million pounds), more than the comparable gross of any other overseas entry. To date, the family fantasy has earned $389 million.

Meanwhile, the best of the Oscar-related films was Syriana, which racked up an estimated $7.4 million from 40 markets, ahead of the supporting actor award for George Clooney Sunday night. Its international total stands at $18.9 million.

Narnia earned $2.26 million in preview screenings in Japan on 701 screens on Saturday, beating the preview B.O. for BVJ’s previous record holder, “Finding Nemo,” by 19%.

Buena Vista Japan reckons Narnia will gross more than $86 million – in the same ballpark as The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King ($89 million). However, its preview take is more in line with previews for Spider-Man 2 which ended its Japan run with $56 million.

This story developed from Wire Reports here and here.