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Crowded Christmas Weekend

December 24th, 2004

Note: Today's two columns will be abbreviated due to Christmas Eve. Expect the weekend wrap-up and DVD releases to be delayed till Tuesday.

The busiest weekend of the year starts off with Christmas Eve, one of the slowest holiday nights of year. Because of this, it make predicting the weekend results much more difficult. Also adding to the difficulty, several films only open / go wide on Saturday.

Meet the Fockers - reviews
Earned a stunning $12.1 million on Wednesday alone, this will easily be the top draw over the weekend and bring in more than the $24 million orignally predicted at $32 million.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events - Reviews
Amazing min-week numbers, including holding up well against the massive onslaught that was Meet the Fockers. $21 million should be the target, but with a little luck it will beat it.

The Aviator - Reviews
The best reviewed film on this list and the one with the most Golden Globe Nominations as well. Only two knocks against it, one, it is only playing in 1800 theatres and two, it only goes wide on Saturday. Even so, look for $13 million over the weekend and a third place finish.

Ocean's Twelve - Reviews
This film isn't turning into the monster hit I was originally expecting, but it should have enough legs to become a mid-level hit. This weekend it drops to fourth with $12 million and will become the third $100 million movie on Topher Grace's resume.

The Polar Express - Reviews
The oldest film in the top five, which is strange because its reviews are not that great. But to give you an example of how strong this film's legs are, when Meet the Fockers opening on Wednesday, every film in the top ten drop, some as high as 40%, except this one which climbed by 4%. At worst, the film will be relatively flat for the weekend, but a bump to $9 million seems more likely at this point.

There are four other films opening wide, widish or going wide this weekend.

Andrew Lloyd-Webber's the Phantom of the Opera - Reviews
The best of what's left. The film struggled on Wednesday earning just $1.3 million but that shouldn't effect its weekend too much and it should get its $6 million over the three days.

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Reviews
A step back for director, Wes Anderson, bot critically and at the box office. The film expands into just over 1000 theatres on Saturday, but won't have the same impact as The Royal Tenenbaums bringing in $5.5 million.

Fat Albert - Reviews
Bad reviews + invisible ad campaign = flop. Opening on Saturday, the film should only make $5 million in two days before disappearing quickly from theatres.

The Darkness - Reviews
See above, then multiply by two. This film will be lucky if it makes it to the top ten with $3 million.

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Filed under: Meet the Fockers, The Polar Express, Ocean's Twelve, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Aviator, The Phantom of the Opera, Fat Albert, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Darkness