benstillermuseum.JPGTUESDAY AM UPDATE: Dreamgirls Scores $8.7 Million Surprise, 3rd Best Xmas Day Box Office Ever

Top 10 Xmas 4-Day Wkd Films

Ben Stiller’s comic hit Night At The Museum gave Fox a Christmas gift by opening as the No. 1 movie this weekend with $12.1 million Fri / $12.5 mil Sat / $6 mil Sun to top the box office. Its 3-day pre-Christmas weekend take was $30.6 million. This four-quadrant comedy in 3,685 theaters tracked as the movie to beat for weeks, despite only so-so reviews and poor per screen averages. But the leader board could change dramatically today when DreamWorks / Paramount’s Dreamgirls widens into 852 theaters on Christmas Day. (I’ll have the 4-day holiday figures tomorrow — Museum‘s est. is $38.5 mil.) Still in 2nd place today, Will Smith’s The Pursuit Of Happyness made $5.3 mil Fri / $6.3 mil Sat / $3.2 mil Sun in 2,863 playdates for Sony and what was a $15 mil weekend and a new cume of $53.2 mil. Rocky Balboa‘s 6th time in the ring came in 3rd for MGM after opening No. 1 on Wednesday. After expanding into 3,017 venues, it made $5 mil Fri / $5.2 mil Sat / $2 mil Sun to rake in $12.3 mil this weekend for a new cume of $21.9 mil. Universal’s life of a spy pic, The Good Shepherd, starring Matt Damon and directed by Robert DeNiro, opened 4th in 2,218 theaters and took in $3.5 mil Fri / $4.2 mil Sat / $2.1 mil Sun. Its debut weekend total is $10 mil. Paramount’s live action holdover Charlotte’s Web was #5 by making $3.1 mil Fri / $3.1 mil Sat / $1.3 mil Sun although its theater count was the biggest at 3,728. But its Saturday kiddie bump was way less than expected, so its weekend total was only $7.7 mil with a new cume of $26.5 mil. In 6th place was Fox’s Lord of the Ring clone, Eragon, which fell 69% from its debut last week, earning only $2.7 mil Fri / $2.9 mil Sat / $1.3 mil Sun, for a 3-day total of $7 mil and new cume of $37.4 mil. Warner’s feel good flick starring Matthew McConaughey, We Are Marshall, disappointed by debuting only 7th in 2,606 venues; it eked out $2.7 mil Fri / $2.6 mil / $934K Sun for only a $6.2 mil weekend. shepherd2.jpgHuge surprise was New Line’s The Nativity which jumped from 10th to 8th place with $1.6 mil Fri / $2.1 mil Sat / $1.6 mil Sun for a $5.4 mil weekend and new cume of almost $32 mil. Warner’s Happy Feet, stayed in 9th place even after six weeks in theaters, adding another $1.8 mil Fri / $2.2 mil Sat /$1.1 mil Sun to score a $5.2 mil weekend and new cume of $159 mil. Rounding out the Top 10, Sony’s three-weeks-out chick flick, The Holiday, starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet, pulled in $1.8 mil Fri / $2.1 mil Sat / $951K for a $4.9 mil weekend and new cume of $34.9 mil. Bond (Casino Royale), Leo (Blood Diamond) and Mel (Apocalypto) all fell out of the Top 10. Among this weekend’s newcomers, Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-buzzed Letters From Iwo Jima playing in 5 venues earned $26K Fri / $34K Sat / $29K Sun for an $89K weekend for Warner Bros. Warner Independent’s The Painted Veil, in 4 theaters, made $14K Fri / $20K Sat / $16K Sun for a $51K weekend. And Miramax’s Venus in 3 playdates took in $9K Fri / $15K Sat / $11K Sun for a $36K weekend. Stay tuned to see how Dreamgirls does! Right now, its cume from 3 theaters after two weeks out (some moviegoers spending $25 per ticket for a value-added experience) is $846K — $67K Fri / $91K Sat / $64K Sun.

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