'Museum' tops at holiday box office

As studios woke up Monday ayem to unwrap their Christmas B.O. gifts, Fox’s “Night at the Museum” still had a stranglehold on the holiday chart, taking in an estimated $42.9 million over four days.

Sony’s “The Pursuit of Happyness” remained at No. 2, with MGM’s “Rocky Balboa” and Universal’s “The Good Shepherd” following behind.

Still set to roll out Monday were Paramount/DreamWorks’ musical “Dreamgirls,” and MGM’s horror pic “Black Christmas.”

Traditionally on Christmas, daytime numbers tend to be down as families gather. But once Christmas dinner is done, B.O. can be flush as auds head out to the multiplexes.

After bringing in $15 million over the first three days of the Christmas frame, “Pursuit,” Sony’s Will Smith starrer, added another $5 million to its tally.

Pic was playing in 2,836 engagements.

MGM, meantime, said that “Rocky” moved from $12.5 million over the three days to $16.3 million over four. “Rocky’s” cume has been a scrappy $$26 million since its release Wednesday. Pic played in 3,017 over the weekend.

Universal’s estimated that its “Shepherd,” the Robert DeNiro-helmed political pic, meantime, would raise its cume from a three day take of $10 million to $13.9 million off 2,215.

Warner Bros.’ gridiron drama “We Are Marshall,” which took in just $6.6 million off 2,548 over three days looked as if it would remain in the seventh spot on the charts: Pic’s four-day estimate stood at $8.36 million off 3,208.

Studio’s “Letters from Iwo Jima” had an estimated six-day cume, as of Monday, of $163,900 from five locations after its Wednesday bow last week.

In the specialty sector, Sony Classics’ opener “Curse of the Golden Flower” reported a four-day estimate of $724,369 off 60 for a per screen average of $12,073 and a cume since Thursday of $738,266.

Paramount Vantage raised the cume on its “Babel” to just under $19 million by taking in $422,778 off 207 over the four-day frame.

Miramax’s “The Queen” took in $577,000 over the four-day frame to raise its cume to $26.6 million.

Unit’s opener “Venus” had a four-day take of $54,000 off three screens for a per engagement average of just over $18,000.

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