Five new movies made the box-office top 10 this Thanksgiving weekend, including “Rent” and “In the Mix,” but moviegoers opted for the familiar, making “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” and “Walk the Line” the top two films at the box office for the second-consecutive week.
Over the course of the five-day Thanksgiving box-office period, the fourth installment in the “Harry Potter” series, which bowed at #1 last week, earned $81.3 million (pulling in $54.9 million from Friday to Sunday), according to early estimates (see “No More Child’s Play” ).
That number helped this weekend rank second in five-day holiday grosses, with total box-office earnings of $218.3 million. The current record holder is 2000’s Turkey Day weekend, when #1 film “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” helped bring the box-office total to $232.1 million.
“Walk the Line,” which stars Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash, held strong at #2 for the second week in a row, earning $19.7 million this weekend. The film chronicling the Man in Black’s life also stars Reese Witherspoon as his wife, June Carter Cash, and features both actors showing off their vocal chops (see “Johnny Cash Was ’Thrilled’ Joaquin Phoenix Would Play Him, ’Line’ Director Says” ).
“Yours, Mine and Ours” led the pack of new releases this week, debuting at #3 with more than $17.4 million. The family flick stars Rene Russo and Dennis Quaid as a widow and widower who marry, creating a family of 18 children. As you might expect, mayhem ensues.
“Chicken Little,” the animated comedy starring Zach Braff as the voice of the title character (see “Zach Braff Calls ’Chicken Little’ ’Garden State’ On A Farm” ), managed to keep newcomers “Rent” and “Just Friends” at bay, dropping one notch from #3 to #4 with more than $12.4 million.
Fans of Broadway mainstay “Rent” got an early Christmas present this weekend when the film version of the musical hit the big screen. Starring most of the show’s original Broadway cast — with Rosario Dawson filling in for Daphne Rubin-Vega as fishnet-clad-badass Mimi — “Rent” centers on the lives of friends living in New York City’s East Village. The film bowed at #5 with $10.7 million.
The romantic comedy “Just Friends,” which stars Ryan Reynolds and Amy Smart, debuted at #6 with more than $9.2 million. In the film, Reynolds stars as Chris, an overweight teen who transforms himself into a svelte, ruthless record exec and tries to win the heart of Jamie (Smart), the girl who crushed his romantic dreams in high school when she told him she wanted to be “just friends” (see ” ’Just Friends’ Cast Says High School Was Hell, Reliving It Was Heaven” ).
Rounding out this week’s box-office top 10 are “Pride and Prejudice,” which climbed from #10 to #7 with more than $7 million; “Derailed,” which fell from #4 to #8 with more than $4.7 million; Usher’s “In the Mix,” which debuted at #9 with more than $4.4 million; and “The Ice Harvest,” which bowed at #10 with more than $3.7 million.
Overall, ticket sales for the five-day weekend were up slightly from the corresponding weekend last year.
Next week, look for “Aeon Flux” to debut on the box-office top 10. “The Kid & I,” starring Tom Arnold, and “TransAmerica,” starring Felicity Huffman of “Desperate Housewives,” open in limited release.
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