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'Marley & Me' top dog at weekend box office

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Marleyandme_l

Marleyandme_l

Hollywood got just what it wanted this holiday weekend: A puppy. Marley & Me, the tale of a couple’s life with each other and their provocative pooch, easily won a robust holiday weekend at the box office, adding an estimated $37 million this weekend to the record $14.7 it fetched on Christmas day ($51.7 million for the four days). It’s a big win for man’s best friend — not to mention Friend, with Jennifer Aniston front and center in the movie’s promotional effort. A healthy $10,632 per-screen average bodes well for an extended run, particularly with no significant new competition at the multiplex until the first set of ’09 new releases arrives on Jan. 9.

While Marley comfortably led the pack, moviegoers spread the holiday cheer around to three of the four other Christmas day openers. Adam Sandler’s Bedtime Stories finished second for the weekend, tucking in $28.1 million over the weekend ($38.6 million for four days). It was also a happy ending for anticipated Oscar contender The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which finished just behind Bedtime Stories for three days ($27 million) and just ahead of it for four days ($39 million). And despite months of skepticism about its prospects, World War II drama Valkyrie‘s solid numbers ($21.5 million for the weekend, $30 million over four days) show Tom Cruise has not burned his bridges with moviegoers. 

More on the weekend box office results after the jump

The one lump of coal for new releases landed in the stocking of The Spirit.

The adaptation of the classic Will Eisner comic directed by Frank

Miller just barely snuck into the top ten (No. 9), with $6.5 million

for the weekend, $10.4 million for four days.

Meanwhile, last week’s top releases were able to hang around in the

middle of the pack despite the competition from four strong new

releases. Jim Carrey’s Yes Man fared best, finishing at No. 5 overall, with $16.5 million, just a 10 percent drop from its opening weekend. Will Smith’s Seven Pounds held serve as well, weighing in with $13.4 million, again only a 10 percent drop from its debut last weekend. And The Tale of Despereaux kept pace, with a $9.4 million weekend, only 7 percent off its three-day haul a week ago.

Meanwhile, the very limited opening (three screens) of the Leonardo DiCaprio-Kate Winslet reunion, Revolutionary Road,

took in $192,000, for a whopping average of

$64,000, a good sign for its eventual wide release. Another drama with Oscar aspirations, Doubt, starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour

Hoffman, and Amy Adams, hit the top ten after its first weekend on 1,000+

screens, collecting $5.7 million.

See the Weekend Box Office chart

The one lump of coal for new releases landed in the stocking of The Spirit.The adaptation of the classic Will Eisner comic directed by FrankMiller just barely snuck into the top ten (No. 9), with $6.5 millionfor the weekend, $10.4 million for four days.

Meanwhile, last week’s top releases were able to hang around in themiddle of the pack despite the competition from four strong newreleases. Jim Carrey’s Yes Man fared best, finishing at No. 5 overall, with $16.5 million, just a 10 percent drop from its opening weekend. Will Smith’s Seven Pounds held serve as well, weighing in with $13.4 million, again only a 10 percent drop from its debut last weekend. And The Tale of Despereaux kept pace, with a $9.4 million weekend, only 7 percent off its three-day haul a week ago.

Meanwhile, the very limited opening (three screens) of the Leonardo DiCaprio-Kate Winslet reunion, Revolutionary Road,took in $192,000, for a whopping average of$64,000, a good sign for its eventual wide release. Another drama with Oscar aspirations, Doubt, starring Meryl Streep, Philip SeymourHoffman, and Amy Adams, hit the top ten after its first weekend on 1,000+screens, collecting $5.7 million.

See the Weekend Box Office chart

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