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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 January, 2004, 09:00 GMT
Rings triumphs in US cinema duel
Ewan McGregor in Big Fish
Ewan McGregor stars as a man who tells unbelievable stories in Big Fish
The US box office has been topped by Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King after a race with Big Fish, which saw both sides claim early victory.

Ticket sales were so close between the two that an official winner could not easily be declared using the usual weekend estimates.

But final figures showed Lord of the Rings had taken $14.2m (7.6m) compared to $13.8m (7.4m) for Big Fish.

Oscar contender Lord of the Rings has now topped the chart for four weeks.

The final adaptation in the Tolkien trilogy has now taken $312.3m (169m) in the US and Canada alone, and continues to dominate box office charts around the world.

During the duel for the top of the North American chart major studio Columbia had estimated takings for its movie Big Fish at $14.5m (7.8m), while New Line had predicted $14.1m (7.6m) for Lord of the Rings.


But Columbia admitted trade on Sunday for Big Fish, directed by Tim Burton, had not been as brisk as expected.

Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office monitor Exhibitor Relations, said it had been rare to have such a photo finish for the number one spot.

Big Fish stars Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney, who portray a man at two stages of his life who tells unbelievable stories.

It opened in a small number of US cinemas in December in a bid for Academy Award nominations.

Other new entries in the box office chart were comedy My Baby's Daddy in sixth place and romance Chasing Liberty at number seven.

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28 Dec 03  |  Entertainment


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