‘Four Christmases’ stays at the top of the box office, but ‘Punisher’ bombs

The holiday comedy “Four Christmases” kept the top spot on the weekend box office with an estimated $18.2 million while Lionsgate’s “Punisher: War Zone” bombed in its debut with an estimated $4 million.

Variety reports “Four Christmases” stars Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon and has exceeded Warner Bros. expectations so far. The film dropped a slim 41% in its second weekend and has earned $70.8 million in 12 days.

Summit’s “Twilight” (based on the hugely successful Stephenie Meyer book series) is proving to have long life at the big screen and held onto the No. 2 spot at the weekend box office with an estimated 13.2 million. The film has earned an estimated $138.6 million since it was released.

Disney’s new family film “Bolt” took the No. 3 spot at the weekend box office with an estimated $9.7 million. The film dropped 64%, and has earned an estimated $79.2 million since it was released.

Fox’s epic “Australia” continued to have trouble finding an audience with an estimated $7 million and a No. 4 placing at the weekend box office. The film dropped 53% following a weak showing in its Thanksgiving holiday debut.

The Baz Luhrmann-directed “Australia” stars Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman and has earned $30.9 million since it was released. The film is on track to earn an estimated $50 million domestically, but cost the studio an estimated $130 million to bring to the screen (though some of the cost could be cut down due to Australian tax rebates and incentives).

The weekend saw tough starts for two new films – Lionsgate’s “Punisher: War Zone,” and Diskery Sony BMG’s “Cadillac Records” (which was distributed through the TriStar label).

“Punisher: War Zone” took in a disappointing $4 million – which is less than a third of what Lionsgate’s first “Punisher” film opened with in 2004. The new film sees Ray Stevenson taking over the Frank Castle/Punisher role from Thomas Jane, and was directed by Lexi Alexander.

“Cadillac Records” (which sports a huge ensemble cast including Matt Dillon, Beyonce Knowles, Adrien Brody, and Jeffrey Wright) had a decent opening thanks to only playing at 686 locations. The film earned an estimated $3.5 million.

Universal’s “Frost/Nixon” opened at three theaters (New York, L.A., and Toronto) and earned an estimated $180,000. The film will expand to 39 theaters on Friday and then 350 screens on Christmas Day.

“Slumdog Millionaire” and “Milk” also continued to find love on the limited release market.
The Danny Boyle-directed “Slumdog Millionaire” earned an estimated $1.4 million at 78 locations and has brought in an estimated $5.3 million since it was released. The film is set to expand to 47 more cities on Friday.

Gus Van Sant’s “Milk” earned an estimated $1.7 million in its second weekend and played at 99 theaters. The film (which stars Sean Penn) has brought in an estimated $4.1 million since its release and is expected to expand to 250 more theaters on Friday.

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.