Santa isn’t the only big, shaggy guy who likes jumping on the roof. Throughout the holidays, he’ll be joined there by Kong, who’ll remain perched atop the box office throughout what amounts to a four-day weekend for many moviegoers. Though lots of other movies are opening this weekend, a lack of real must-see competitors, as well as strong word of mouth from those who saw King Kong last week, should result in a drop of just 30 percent from last week’s take, for ticket sales of about$35 million from Friday through Monday.
The weekend’s two wide new releases, which got a head start with Wednesday openings, won’t be able to snatch King Kong‘s crown. Still, Steve Martin’s Cheaper by the Dozen 2 is the most-anticipated family movie of the weekend. If its numbers are anything like those of the first movie, it’ll take in $26 million from Friday through Monday, good for second place. Fun With Dick and Jane features Jim Carrey in the rubber-faced clown mode that moviegoers prefer for him, but will they want to go see a satire about economic hardship and downward mobility after having emptied out their wallets buying Christmas gifts? Split the difference and give this one an estimated four-day take of $20 million. It’ll have to settle for fourth place, though, since The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe should sneak in at No. 3, dropping about 20 percent in its third weekend to $25 million.
Coming in at fifth place will be Jennifer Aniston’s romantic comedy Rumor Has It…, which should earn $10 million through Monday. Why so low? Because it’s not opening until Christmas Day, so it’s missing out on potential Friday and Saturday sales. It’s one of several movies opening wide or expanding on Sunday, including Wolf Creek, Casanova, and The Producers, but none of them is likely to crack $6 million. Just call them stocking stuffers.