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Sunday, December 7, 2008

'Four Christmases' holds off 'Twilight' for top spot again, Dec. 5-7, 2008

Thanks to a very poor but unsurprising opening from the weekend's only wide release debut Punisher: War Zone, last week's festive champ Four Christmases maintained its hold at the top with $18.1 million. The hit teen vampire romance Twilight clawed its way to second place bringing its total to an incredible $138 million, while Disney's animated Bolt fell steeply in third to $9.7 million. Overall, the box office maintained its lead over last year's comparable frame, with ticket sales up 10% thanks to the strong holdovers.

With Holiday shopping appearing to be the weakest in decades it's all the more impressive that people continue heading to the cineplexes in large numbers. The biggest beneficiary has been Warner's holiday comedy Four Christmases, which topped the box office for the second straight weekend with $18.1 million. In just two weeks the $80 million budgeted Reese Witherspoon starrer has amassed $70.8 million, and appears to be a shoe-in to break $100 million by Christmas weekend.

Summit Entertainment's blockbuster Twilight held impressively in its third week of release, finding fresh legs with a 50% drop to $13.2 million. To date the teen vampire romance has grossed $138.6 million, making the $37 million budgeted pic one of the most profitable of 2008. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen) and starring Kristen Stewart, the book adaptation should finish with roughly $165 million domestic. Overseas, Twilight has pulled in $21.3 million, with openings in the U.K. and other European markets still on the horizon.

After showing a fantastic hold over Thanksgiving weekend, Disney's computer-animated family film Bolt fell a surprisingly heavy 64% to $9.7 million, bringing its three week cume to $79.3 million. Despite strong reviews, the continued strength of Twilight appears to be hurting the toon's long-term prospects. Look for the big budget release to finish with a disappointing $105-115 million.

Fox's 2008 woes finished on a poetically sour note, as their big-budget epic Australia officially earned the title of "major flop." After a hugely disappointing opening weekend, execs pinned their hopes on strong word of mouth to carry the poorly-reviewed Baz Luhrmann pic. After a 53% drop in its sophomore frame to $7 million, it's clear the $130 million budgeted Hugh Jackman-Nicole Kidman starrer will fall well short of its monstrous budget in North America. In twelve days, the pic has grossed just $30.9 million, and the film will have trouble breaking $50 million domestic.

Sony's Quantum of Solace fell a steep 65% to round out the top five with $7 million this weekend. Despite opening bigger than any Bond film in history, the $200 million budgeted spy-actioner has not exhibited strong legs at the domestic box office, and may fall short of the $167 million total of 2006's Casino Royale, despite debuting nearly $27 million higher. The story is the same internationally, where the film has amassed a very impressive $340.6 million, but still off the pace of Royale's $426 million and $594 million global. Worldwide sales for Solace currently stand at $492 million.

Lionsgate's $35 million budgeted Punisher: War Zone debuted poorly in eighth place with $4 million, averaging just $1,595 in 2,508 theaters. The poorly reviewed actioner should see a quick exit out of the top ten.


Isaac Marzioli - Freelance Illustrator said...

Always appreciate your review in the weekend box office receipts. Surprised to hear your day job is at Pixar...how could you possibly have time for it all!?

gestrica said...

With the lot of comments all over the world Four Christmases (2008) is getting in to hearts of people with lot of interest. I love the story of the movie. All in all it is December. The month every one thinks about their families. So it was the perfect time. http://www.80millionmoviesfree.com allows thee best quality experience and movie was excellent I should say.

Stephen Wong said...

Hey Isaac, thanks for the kind words. I see you're an animator in the industry as well, very cool! It can get crazy trying to balance it when we're in crunch mode (I'm sure you know how it is), but I have fun doing it so it's all good. Thanks again and best of luck!