Four Christmases: Audiences Vs. Critics

Nov 29, 2008–Vince Vaughn-Reese Witherspoon holiday comedy “Four Christmases” should win the Thanksgiving box office. On Friday, the movie grossed $13.2 million from 3,310 runs for a three-day cume of $28.2 million.

Not for the first time, audieneces disregarded the critic’s reviews, which were mostly negative. According to Rotten Tomatoes, more than two third of reviewers panned the comedy.

Perhaps the most watched wide release off the holiday is Baz Luhrmann’s sweeping epic “Australia,” from 20th Century Fox. The Hugh Jackman-Nicole Kidman starrer was up 96% on Thursday, and 30% on Thursday, indicating that the film is building interest among adult moviegoers, as with Luhrmann’s previous films.

On Friday, “Australia” grossed $5.8 million from 2,462 runs for a three day cume of $11 million. Pic’s performance is in line with Fox’s expectations, even if it is only in fifth place at the holiday box office. Friday’s day-over-day gain of 96% was the best among adult-skewing titles.

Adults aslo are turning out for Focus Feature’s specialty opener “Milk.” Gus Van Sant’s Harvey Milk biopic is off to a strong start, grossing $498,086 from 36 runs on Friday for a per locaiton average of $13,836 and coming in No. 10 overall. “Milk,” toplining Sean Penn, has earned $982,681 since Wednesday.

Family fare surged on Thursday. Disney’s 3-D animated toon “Bolt” was up 150% over Thursday, grossing $10.8 million on its second Friday for a cume of $51.1 million. Film was up an impressive 54% over the previous Friday, when it opened.

“Bolt” tied with Summit Entertainment’s “Twilight” for second place on Friday. “Twilight” crossed the $100 million mark in its 8th day in release, grossing $10.8 million from 3,425 runs for a cume of $104. “Twilight” did decline a steep 70% over the previous Friday, but saw a 112% gain over Thanksgiving day.

Sony/MGM’s James Bond installment “Quantum of Solace” hasn’t lost its box office bite as it heads into its third weekend. It grossed $8.2 million from 3,501 runs on Friday for a cume of $130.8 million, and putting it at No. 4. “Quantum” was up 80% over Friday.

DreamWorks Animation/Paramount’s “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa” placed an impressive No. 6 on Friday. Entering its fourth sesh, toon grossed $5.5 million from 3,709 playdates for a cume of $150.3 million. “Mad 2” was up a whopping 154% over Thursday, and 50% over the previous Friday.

The holiday’s third new wide release is Lions gate’s “Transporter 3.” Actioner came in No. 7 on Friday, grossing $4.8 million from 2,626 runs for a three-day cume of $11 million.