Whilst the Big Dumb Christmas Flicks fought out the
top three slots, a handful of "serious" films made a big impact
in limited release over the holiday weekend. Munich opened strong on 500 screens, with exit research
indicating that "politics and history" (read: the so-called controversy) inspired 80% of ticket buyers to pick
Spielberg over the Big Fake Gorilla or the Magical Mystery Closet. Brokeback Mountain continued to expand into the
suburbs, besting Munich's per-screen average even as it dropped out of the top ten. Even Casanova and
The New World opened big, with the latter racking up over $10,000 on each of its 3 screens.
Narnia is kicking Kong's
ass overseas. Buena Vista International is chalking up the success in non-English speaking territories to a trailer
campaign begun in 2004 – which, considering what such a campaign must have cost, makes one wonder if was even
worth it. In a related question, if Kong is rock and Narnia is paper, than what's
Peter Bart on Munich:
"I'm not sure Spielberg had a message to send or merely an ambiguity to convey. In any case,
ambiguities aren't great grist for movies."