Dec 26, 2008–Fox's Jennifer Aniston-Owen Wilson dog comedy “Marley and Me” led the crowded Christmas Day field, grossing an estimated $14.8 million from 3,480 playdates to become the best opening ever for December 25. “Marley” features an adorable dog and is rated PG.
Paramount's “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,”starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett overperformed, grossing an estimated $11.8 million from 2,988 runs to score the second best Christmas Day opener of all time. Directed by David Fincher, “Button” has already picked up a number of key award nominations. ”Marley” and “Button” did 40% to %50% more business than box office insiders expected.
A record five films opened nationwide on Thursday. Disney family title “Bedtime Stories,” starring Adam Sandler, grossed roughly $10.5 million from 3,651 theaters to place No. 3 for the day.
Tom Cruise starrer “Valkyrie,” from United Artists/MGM, also did well. The fact-based Nazi thriller, directed by Bryan Singer, came in No. 4 in its debut, grossing an estimated $8.5 million from 2,711 runs.
The only title underperforming among the five Christmas Day openers was Lionsgate's “The Spirit,” from Frank Miller. Title, placing No. 7 for the day, debuted to an estimated $4 million from 2,509 theaters.
Beating “Spirit” were holdovers “Yes Man,” from Warner, and Sony's “Seven Pounds.” Toplining Jim Carrey, “Yes man” grossed an estimated $6 million from 3,434 playdates for a cume of more than $33 in its 7th day in release. “Seven Pounds,” starring Will Smith, grossed an estimated $4.8 million from 2,758 runs for a cumulative of $25.6 million in its 7th day.