Story by: Jack Foley
COMEDY sequel Meet The Fockers
hit the top spot at the North American Box Office over the festive
period, setting a new record for a Christmas Day opening in the
The Ben Stiller sequel, which follows up his winning turn in
Meet The Parents, took
an estimated $44.7 million (£23.2m) between December 24
and 26, according to early data.
Impressively, $19.1m of that total came on Christmas Day, marking
the highest takings in box office history for that day alone.
The comedy finds Stiller's Greg Focker taking his fiance's uptight
parents (Robert De Niro and Blythe Danner) to meet his own parents,
played by Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand.
Needless to say, all manner of comic situations ensue, as it
quickly becomes clear that the Fockers are nothing like what De
Niro's former CIA operative would expect from the in-laws.
Critics were divided over the film, labelling it crude and crass
in places, but audiences did not seem to care as they sought some
festive cheer over the three-day period.
However, in spite of the success
of Meet The Fockers, takings were still down 26.5 per cent on
2003's figures, which was partly blamed on Christmas falling over
a weekend ths year.
The absence of a Lord of the Rings films may also have had an
The weekend's top 12 films took an estimated total of $121.9m
(£63.3m), compared with $165.8m (£86.1m) last year,
when the final film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The
Return of the King, dominated proceedings.
Last week's top film, Lemony
Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, fell to third place,
with $12.5m (£6.5m), just behind another comedy, Fat Albert
- co-written by Bill Cosby, which took $12.7m (£6.6m).
Martin Scorsese's latest epic, The
Aviator, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes, took
$9.4m after expanding from 40 to 1,796 cinemas on Christmas Day.
While Ocean's 12, the hip
sequel to Ocean's 11,
fell to fifth spot, with takings just behind the figure for the
original at the same point in its run.
Other top ten films included The
Phantom of the Opera, Darkness, The
Polar Express, The Life Aquatic
with Steve Zissou and Adam Sandler's Spanglish.
And while figures did fall this year, as previously stated, they
were not expected to prevent 2004 from becoming a record-breaking
year at the Box Office.