A/V Room









Meet the Fockers makes Christmas Day history in US

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 process.

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 effect.

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.

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z