'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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