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Thanksgiving Estimates: Four Christmases, Family Films Big Winners

November 30th, 2008

Thanksgiving weekend produced three big winners, according to studio estimates released on Sunday. At the top, Four Christmases scored an excellent $31.7 million Friday-Sunday and $46.7 million over the five-day weekend, and is the third best Thanksgiving opening ever, just behind Enchanted's opening last year. Second place, Friday-Sunday, was taken by Bolt, which scored $26.6 million, and, very unusually these days, earned more in its second weekend than it did in its first. In sixth place, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa also benefited from the holiday, dropping just 7% from last weekend to earn another $14.5 million.

Among the other openers, Australia stuggled, earning $14.8 million Friday-Sunday, and $20 million since opening on Wednesday. Transporter 3 was also below par with $12.3 million, after opening on Friday. Australia has the better prospects through the Holiday Season, but might have difficulty holding on in theaters with a per theater average starting only a little above $5,000.

The real action was among the limited releases. Milk opened with $1.4 million Friday-Sunday in just 36 theaters for an average close to $40,000. It looks like an early Oscar frontrunner, based on its critical reception and strong box office performance. Slumdog Millionaire continued its fantastic limited run with $1.4 million in 49 theaters and has now averaged over $25,000 per theater for three weekends running.

- Weekend Estimates

Filed under: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Slumdog Millionaire, Four Christmases, Bolt, Australia, Milk, Transporter 3