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King Kong, the box office's presumptive simian savior, opened yesterday to just $9.8 million (soon-to-be universally known trivia: this was just the 21st best Wednesday bow on record), and if you're anything like us, you completely forgot that the movie's already been released until you read a story about the disappointing take. Confronted with the low first-day number, Universal's head of distribution displayed a breezy confidence in her studio's product:

"My little monkey's doing great," said Nikki Rocco, Universal's head of distribution. "We're convinced with all the information we have that this is the big guy, and he's going to be around for a long time."

Putting aside the odd, public emasculation of a 4,000-lb. gorilla with that adorably diminutive nickname, we imagine they're not going to start panicking just because there weren't enough rental monkey suits available to accommodate every fanboy who otherwise might have lined up for opening night. They'll probably save the behind-the-scenes pants-soiling for the weekend if things don't pick up in the next couple of days.