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Celebrating the New Year with Holdovers

January 1st, 2009

As is customary for the first weekend of the year, there are no new releases to deal with. However, there are plenty of high profile holdovers to entertain moviegoers, including several that at least have a shot at reaching $100 million before they leave theaters. In fact, every film in the top five has at least a shot at reaching that milestone.

Speaking of $100 million, Marley & Me should have little trouble reaching that mark this weekend, as it already has $65 million, and that's before New Year's Eve. It should surpass $80 million by tonight, and earn $27 million over the weekend for a running tally of $107 million, making it the 25th film from 2008 to hit $100 million, but not the last.

Bedtime Stories hasn't lived up to expectations, but its family-friendly nature should help it hold on better than most this weekend. It's the last weekend before school starts and that should send plenty of families to the movies, and while there's lost of competition for box office dollars, this film should grab its fair share of them. Look for just under $20 million over the weekend for a total of over $80 million after two. This puts it on pace to reach $100 million as early as next weekend.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button should be right behind with $18 million over the weekend, which would give it over $75 million in total. Assuming it continues to pull in a few nominations, and even if it doesn't win any major awards, it should top original expectations before its run is over.

Speaking of beating original expectations, it is likely Valkyrie managed that feat on New Year's Eve. As for the future, it's tracking to earn between $12 and $16 million over the weekend, which puts it right on the cusp of $100 million in total. If it earns $16 million, $100 million becomes much more likely, but far from guaranteed. However, if it earns $12 million over the weekend, its hopes of hitting the century mark are all but dead. The high end is a little more likely than the low end, and I'm going with a prediction of $15 million.

The final film in the top five should be Yes Man with $11 million or so. This would give the Jim Carrey comedy a running tally of $77 million, more or less. Will that be enough to reach $100 million? It's too close to call at the moment, but it should be close.

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Filed under: Marley & Me, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Bedtime Stories, Yes Man, Valkyrie