Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, Dec. 20: "Lemony Snicket" Takes Top Spot

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Dec 20, 2004 | 4:34am EST

Jim Carrey scores another holiday hit.

The funnyman's newest film--the dastardly delightful Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events about a trio of orphans who try to defend themselves from greedy Count Olaf, played by Carrey--debuted at No. 1 with $30.2 million, knocking last week's champ Ocean's Twelve down to second with $18.2 million. Rounding out the top three was James L. Brooks dramedy Spanglish, which opened with $9 million.

"Jim Carrey and the books are really the primary driving forces behind it and the marketing seems to have worked very well," Wayne Lewellen, president of distribution for Paramount, told The Associated Press.

Another newcomer to make it to the Top 10 list this week included the action-adventure remake The Flight of the Phoenix, starring Dennis Quaid, which opened in eighth place with $5.1 million.

This weekend, the Top 12 films grossed an estimated $100.2 million, down 0.64 percent from last weekend's $100.8 million take and down 24.87 percent from last year's draw of $133.4 million.

The top three films at the box office this time last year were: New Line's PG-13 rated The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which opened huge at the No. 1 spot with $72.6 million in 3,703 theaters, averaging $19,614 per theater; Sony Pictures' PG-13 Mona Lisa Smile, which opened with $11.5 million in 2,677 theaters, averaging $4,306 per theater; and Sony Pictures PG-13 rated Something's Gotta Give, which dropped to third place in its second week with $11.4 million in 2,677 theaters, averaging $4,265 per theater.

BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES:

(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)

No. 1: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (Paramount, PG)

Gross: $30.2 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 3,620

Per-theater average: $8,343

No. 2: Ocean's Twelve (Warner Bros., PG-13)

Gross: $18.2 million (-53%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 3,290

Per-theater average: $5,550

Cume to date: $68.6 million

No. 3: Spanglish (Sony Pictures, PG-13)

Gross: $9 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 2,438

Per-theater average: $3,692

No. 4: The Polar Express (Warners Bros., G)

Gross: $8.5 million (-11%)

Weeks opened: 6

Theaters: 2,868 (-389)

Per-theater average: $2,981

Cume to date: $123.5 million

No. 5: Blade: Trinity (New Line Cinema, R)

Gross: $6.6 million (-59%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 2,912 (unchanged)

Per-theater average: $2,266

Cume to date: $35.4 million

No. 6: National Treasure (Buena Vista, PG)

Gross: $6.1 million (-38%)

Weeks opened: 5

Theaters: 2,772 (-431)

Per-theater average: $2,204

Cume to date: $132.8 million

No. 7: Christmas with the Kranks (Sony Pictures, PG)

Gross: $5.7 million (-25%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 2,941 (-353)

Per-theater average: $2,941

Cume to date: $62.3 million

No. 8: The Flight of the Phoenix (20th Century Fox, PG-13)

Gross: $5.1 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 2,604

Per-theater average: $1,978

No. 9: Closer (Sony Pictures, R)

Gross: $3.5 million (-6%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 1,090 (+468)

Per-theater average: $3,211

Cume to date: $18.9 million

No. 10: The Incredibles (Buena Vista/Pixar, PG)

Gross: $3.2 million (-35%)

Weeks opened: 7

Theaters: 1,930 (-726)

Per-theater average: $1,691

Cume to date: $237.1 million

OTHER OPENINGS

The Aviator (Miramax, PG-13)

Gross: $831,124

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 40

Per-theater average: $20,778

Million Dollar Baby (Warner Bros., PG-13)

Gross: $177,776

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 8

Per-theater average: $22,222

Beyond the Sea (Lions Gate, PG-13)

Gross: $48,000

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 6

Per-theater average: $8,000

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