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Harry Potter Burns Up the US Box Office For A Second Week

Harry Potter continued to have the magic touch at US box office this holiday weekend, simply dominating ticket sales, according to records by Box Office Mojo.

Harry Potter and company work box office magic [photo: Warner Bros.]Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire continued to light ticket sales on fire for a second week, bringing in an estimated $54.9 million over the three days, down 46% from its opening weekend. Add in the extra two holiday days, and the five-day total escalates to $81.3 million. This brings the phenomenal 10-day US opening total for the film to $201.1 million, and it has reached that mark in the fourth-fastest time on record. Adding in totals outside of the US brings the total to date for "Goblet" to a staggering $408.1 million.

Holding down second place for a second weekend is the "Man In Black" biopic, Walk the Line. Down only 12% in ticket sales, largely due to opening in 177 more theaters, the film brought in $19.7 million in box office receipts for the Friday through Sunday tally, and $27.6 million for the five days. The Johnny Cash-biopic, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, has grossed $54.7 million since its opening in the US.

Opening in third is the first new film on this week's chart, Yours, Mine and Ours. This remake of the 1968 classic stars Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo as a couple who marry and try to unite their 18 children (he has 8 and she has 10) into a family. It drew an estimated $17.5 million in ticket receipts for the three days, and a solid $24.5 million for the full five days of release.

Chicken Little, continued its slow slide in its third week in theaters, dropping to fourth place. Down 15.6%, compared to last week, the Disney animated film brought in $12.4 million for the three days and $16.7 for the complete holiday weekend.

Though it started out strong, with an opening day total of $4.9 million, Rent finished its opening weekend in fifth, with a three-day total of $10.7 million and a five day total of $18.1 million. The musical, based on the long-running Broadway play, has a solid fanbase, but Sony Pictures will need to sell the movie to theatergoers unfamiliar with the story if it hopes to keep ticket sales up.

The third new film of the week, Just Friends, opened sixth, with $9.3 million three-day and $13.6 million five-day total at the box office. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart and Anna Farris, the film is the only romantic comedy on the charts this week.

Pride and Prejudice, the remake of Jane Austen's classic novel, leaps from tenth to seventh, with $7 million for the three day weekend. Helping the ticket count was an increase in theaters showing the film from 221 to 1299. Starring Keira Knightley, the romantic drama has managed to build a very respectable $15.9 million at the box office so far.

The remaining new entries on the chart were In the Mix, starring R&B superstar Usher, which placed ninth with $4.5 million in tickets ($6.2 for the five days), and the dark comedy, The Ice Harvest, starring John Cusack and Billy Bob Thorton, which rounded out the chart in tenth with $3.7 for the weekend ($4.9 for all five days).

It's interesting to note that three of the top five films on the chart are family films. This is possibly due to it being a holiday weekend when families get together.

Also worth noting is the sixth new film of the week, the George Clooney political drama, Syriana. Opening in only 5 theaters (2 in LA, 2 in NYC and 1 in Toronto), the film grossed $372,147 for the weekend. This averages to an amazing $74,429 per theater. The film opens nationally December 9, so look for it to do exceptionally well when it does.

This coming week, only one new film opens nationwide, the live-action remake of MTV's anime series Aeon Flux. Starring Charlize Theron in the title role, this film will probably chart over the weekend, but I don't look for it to de-spell the hold Harry Potter has on the top slot. I think the next film that even has a chance is the Walt Disney adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia, which opens nationwide December 9.

All totals are based upon actual Friday and Saturday ticketing, as well as an advanced estimate of Sunday's receipts. Here is this weekend's estimated box office champs:

1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, $54.9 million.

2. Walk The Line, $19.7 million.

3. Yours, Mine and Ours, $17.5 million.

4. Chicken Little, $12.4 million. (BellaOnline review)

5. Rent, $10.7 million. (BellaOnline review)

6. Just Friends, $9.3 million.

7. Pride and Prejudice, $7 million.

8. Derailed, $4.7 million.

9. In the Mix, $4.5 million.

10. The Ice Harvest, $3.7 million.

 

 

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