‘Meet The Fockers’ Breaks Records At Box Office

Flick rakes in $42.8 million over holiday weekend to land at #1.

This New Year’s Eve, a record-breaking number of movie-going Americans chose to ring in 2005 with the Focker family.

“Meet the Fockers” took the #1 spot in the box-office top 10 for the second week in a row, earning $42.8 million, according to early estimates. The comedy, which stars Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand, also broke two box-office records over the weekend: one for the best New Year’s Eve haul with $12.2 million (beating “Cast Away,” which took in $8.5 million in 2000); and one for surpassing the record for New Year’s Day ticket sales with $18 million, which was set last year by “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” which earned $12.8 million.

“Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” is having a bout of good luck. The family-friendly adventure/comedy that stars Jim Carrey as the cunning Count Olaf and Jude Law as the voice of the title character spent a second week in a row at #2, earning $14.7 million.

Four films in the box-office top 10 defied the chart’s laws of gravity by rising up this week. “The Aviator,” which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as legendary aviator and director Howard Hughes, flew up one spot from #4 to #3 with more than $11.2 million in ticket sales.

“Fat Albert” did not fare quite so well, however; it was the only film in the upper half of the top 10 to neither maintain its position from the previous week nor climb up a spot. The live-action version of Bill Cosby’s animated series sunk a notch from #3 to #4 with more than $10.7 million.

“Ocean’s Twelve” held its ground in the middle of the list, maintaining the #5 spot for the second week in a row. The heist flick took in more than $9.2 million in its fourth week in theaters.

“National Treasure,” meanwhile, struck gold, reappearing in the box-office top 10 at #6. The Nicolas Cage flick, which spent its first three weeks in theaters at #1, took in more than $7 million this week.

Rounding out the top 10 are “Spanglish,” which rises one spot from #8 to #7 with $6.3 million; “The Polar Express,” which drops two spots from #6 to #8 with more than $5.7 million; “The Phantom of the Opera,” which begins a slow ascent, rising from #10 to #9 with more than $4.8 million; and “Darkness,” which drops from #7 to #10 with more than $4.5 million.

Overall, ticket sales were up slightly from the corresponding weekend last year.

Next week, look for thriller “White Noise” to debut in the top 10.

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