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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 August 2005, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
Penguins march to box office hit
March of the Penguins
The film follows the annual breeding habits of the Emperor Penguin
A surprise hit documentary about penguins has overtaken Amelie to become the second most successful French film at the North American box office.

The Fifth Element remains France's top film, making $66m (36m) in 1997.

March of the Penguins made $6.8m (3.7m) at the weekend, taking its box office total to $37m (20m).

Luc Jacquet's film about the penguins' mating season is also the second most successful documentary in US box office history after Fahrenheit 9/11.

Michael Moore's film - which criticises President Bush's handling of the terrorist attacks of September 2001 - became the first documentary to make more than $100m (58m) at the North American box office in 2004.

Annual journey

March of the Penguins has surpassed Moore's Oscar-winning documentary, Bowling for Columbine, which took $21.6m (12m).

The documentary follows the annual journey of Emperor penguins as they march single file to their traditional breeding ground in Antarctica.

In the French version of the film - which was shot by a four-man crew over 14 months - actors' voices speak for the penguins.

But it was felt by distributors that the style would not appeal to English-speaking audiences, and in the US version the voices have been replaced by a narration by actor Morgan Freeman.




SEE ALSO:
Penguins defy US box office slump
29 Jul 05 |  Entertainment
Documentaries turn up cinema heat
23 May 04 |  Entertainment
Moore film tops $100m mark in US
26 Jul 04 |  Entertainment


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