Chronicles of Narnia adds to magical performance at UK cinemas

LONDON - Attendance at UK cinemas rose by 21% in the key Christmas period, helped by 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe', which continues to dominate the box office internationally, pulling in almost £200m.

The average weekly turnout at cinemas averaged 3.98m throughout December and reached a total of 17.6m.

Blockbusters such as 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe', which took £8m on its opening weekend, helped contribute to a total box office of £32m, according to the Cinema Advertising Association.

Other big hits during the month included 'King Kong' and 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'.

The CS Lewis 'Chronicles of Narnia' and 'King Kong' are still in the UK's top 10 with figures for January also expected to be strong, with the critically acclaimed the gay love story 'Brokeback Mountain' having led the top 10 movies since its release until this week.

Others films expected to well in early 2006 include Jim Carrey's 'Fun with Dick and Jane', which has jumped to number one in the UK knocking off the Heath Ledger- and Jake Gyllenhall-starring 'Brokeback Mountain', based on an Annie Proulx short story.

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