Auds do the ‘Harry’ hustle

'Potter,' Johnny cash in

The Thanksgiving box office buffet served up six pics opening or going wide, but auds lined up again for the previous weekend’s top two.

As a result, the overall weekend gave little hope to those praying the holiday season would help close the year’s B.O. gap. Despite five wide bows — “Yours, Mine and Ours,” “Rent,” “Just Friends,” “In the Mix” and “The Ice Harvest” — and the power of “Harry Potter,” total take for the three-day weekend was up just 2% compared to a year ago, when only two films opened.

As has been the trend all year, it was the middle that fell out. With $81.4 million over five days and $54.9 million for the three-day weekend, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” easily bested last year’s No. 1 pic, “National Treasure,” which grossed $46.2 million and $32.2 million over five and three days, respectively.

But “Goblet of Fire,” which dropped 46%, was the only pic to make more than $20 million for the three-day weekend. The last time only one movie grossed over $20 million for a Thanksgiving weekend was 1997.

Cume now stands at $201 million, the highest 10-day total for any entry in the franchise.

“Walk the Line” is showing very strong legs, dropping just 12% in its second frame. Five-day take was $27.6 million, while the three-day total was $19.7 million, or $6,278 per play on 3,138 screens. Cume after 10 days is $54.1 million.

“Yours, Mine and Ours” performed solidly for Par — landing in third place — in a market crowded with family pics, proving the weekend’s strongest opener as it grossed $24.5 million over five days and $17.5 million for the three-day weekend. Playing on 3,206 screens, its average was $5,451 over three days.

In fourth place, “Rent” proved something of a disappointment to Sony and Revolution, earning a modest $18.1 million over five days and $10.7 million for three days on 2,433 screens. Per-play take was $4,398 for the weekend. Auds were 58% female and 49% under 25.

Opening modestly, although it came in with lower expectations, was New Line comedy “Just Friends.” Pic grossed $13.6 million over five days and $9.3 million for the weekend on 2,505 playdates, for a per-screen average over three days of $3,713.

Moving to wide release after two very successful weeks on just over 200 screens, “Pride & Prejudice” had a modest expansion, taking $9.4 million over five days and $7 million for three, putting it at No. 7. Playing on 1,299 screens, average take was $5,410 for three days. Cume is now $15.9 million.

“In the Mix” and “The Ice Harvest” fell flat in their debuts, opening in ninth and 10th place, respectively.

Lions Gate’s Usher starrer grossed $6.2 million over five days and $4.5 million for the weekend on 1,608 plays. Per-screen take over three days was $2,783.

Focus comedy “Ice Harvest,” toplined by John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton, gleaned just $5.1 million for five days and a frigid $3.7 million in three on 1,552 screens. It grossed $2,412 per play for the weekend.

“The toughest thing it faced was a tremendous reliance on male moviegoers, many of whom accompanied (women) to other movies,” said Focus distrib topper Jack Foley.

Frame was a solid one for family pics, with three of the top five aimed squarely at kids and their parents. “Chicken Little” declined just 16% for the three-day weekend to take the No. 5 spot (pic would be No. 4 using three-day figures). Cume now stands at $118.2 million.

WB’s re-release of “The Polar Express” in 3-D Imax grossed $1.4 million over five days and $1.2 million for the weekend on 66 screens. Weekend average was $18,362 per screen, helped greatly by high ticket prices for the large-screen format.

Added to figures from last year’s release, total take on the motion-capture toon is now $164.2 million.

With the weekend almost flat, box office deficit for the year still stands at 6%, according to Nielsen EDI. Thanks mainly to the spectacular bow of “Goblet of Fire” last week, though, the holiday season is still up a healthy 11% compared to 2004.

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