'Four Christmases' top movie for second weekend

Sun Dec 7, 2008 2:11pm EST
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Four Christmases," a holiday comedy starring Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn, led the North American box office for a second weekend on Sunday, while the spotlight shifted to a handful of Oscar hopefuls playing in limited release.

In a traditionally quiet weekend following the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, "Four Christmases" sold about $18.2 million worth of tickets during the three days beginning Friday, taking its 12-day haul to $70.8 million, said distributor Warner Bros. Pictures.

The Time Warner Inc-owned studio expects the film to end up with just over $100 million. Witherspoon and Vaughn play a couple who must divide their holiday among each of their divorced parents. It earned a "Bah, humbug!" from critics.

Only two new films entered the top 10: the action sequel "Punisher: War Zone" at No. 8 with just $4.0 million. It played in almost four times as many theaters as the music biopic "Cadillac Records," which opened at No. 9 with a solid $3.5 million.

Among more-pedigreed releases, "Frost/Nixon" earned a hefty $180,000 from three theaters, one each in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto. Universal Pictures' fact-based drama about a face-off between British TV interviewer David Frost and former President Richard Nixon will add 20 markets next week.

In its second weekend, Sean Penn's gay-hero saga "Milk" earned $1.7 million. Despite almost tripling its theater count to 99 venues, the Focus Features release was up just 16 percent. Its total stands at $4.1 million. Both Universal and Focus are units of General Electric Co's NBC Universal.

Former chart-topper "Twilight" moved up one place to No. 2 with $13.2 million in its third weekend. Closely held indie studio Summit Entertainment's vampire romance has earned $138.6 million to date.

It swapped places with the Walt Disney Co canine cartoon "Bolt," which dug up $9.7 million, also in its third weekend. Its tally rose to $79.3 million.   Continued...

<p>Cast member Reese Witherspoon poses at the premiere of the movie "Four Christmases" at the Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California November 20, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>