The final instalment of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy has held its place at the top of the US box office in a record-breaking Christmas weekend.
The Return of the King is the final in the Lord of the Rings trilogy
The Return Of The King made $51.2m (£29m) over the weekend - taking its total US takings to $224m (£126m).
It also stayed top of the UK box office, beating competition from new releases Cold Mountain and Peter Pan.
The top 12 US films made $168.6m (£95m) over the weekend - the highest takings for the festive period.
This saw an increase of 8.2% on last year's Christmas takings.
US/ Canada top five films
1. The Return of the King
2. Cheaper by the Dozen
3. Cold Mountain
4. Something's Gotta Give
Source: Exhibitor Relations
In the US, Steve Martin's Cheaper By The Dozen opened at two, with Oscar-tipped Civil War epic Cold Mountain at three.
Action movie Paycheck, starring Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman, opened at number five, with ticket receipts of $13.9m (£7.8m), while the live-action retelling of Peter Pan grossed $11.4m (£6.4m).
It is anticipated The Return of the King could become only the second movie to top the $1bn (£563,496) mark. Titanic was the first to achieve the milestone in 1997.
Worldwide Return of the King has already taken $492m (£277m) just two weeks after it is release.
UK/Eire top five films
1. Return of the King
2. Peter Pan
3. Love Actually
4. Freaky Friday
Source: Screen International
President and chief operating officer of the movie's distributor New Line, Rolf Mittweg, put its early success down to the audience's "investment in the characters of the last few years".
In the UK it took £7.1m over the weekend period, taking its total to £27.9m.
Peter Pan entered the chart at two, with first week receipts of £1.3m.
Romantic comedy Love Actually continued to perform well, remaining at number three in the chart after six weeks, with a total of £29.6m.
The Oscar-tipped Cold Mountain, starring Nicole Kidman and Jude Law, opened in the UK at number six, but was shown on considerably fewer screens around the country than the big earners.
At seven, Denzel Washington's Out of Time was the only other new entry in the top 10.