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Bird watching

Penguins, Bond bring in big B.O.

The penguins are powerful.

Warner Bros.’ “Happy Feet” crossed the $100 million mark after just two weeks in release, dancing to a five-day Thanksgiving take of $51.5 million. Three-day perf of $37.9 million from 3,804 playdates made for a plump per-engagement average of $9,975.

“Casino Royale” collected $45.1 million in five days, and $31 million in three over the Thanksgiving sesh off 3,443. Per-engagement average for the three days was just over $9,000, and attendance dropped off just 21% from the previous three-day frame.

Three-day take of $31 million matched the last Bond pic’s second frame. Pic has cumed more than $94 million domestically and crossed $222 million worldwide.

“Casino Royale” is destined to become the highest-grossing Bond pic in franchise history.

Of the frame’s new openers, Disney’s “Deja Vu” and Fox’s “Deck the Halls” fared best, while Warners’ “The Fountain,” MGM’s expanding “Bobby” and New Line’s rock comedy “Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny” all struggled mightily for attention in what’s sizing up to be a very crowded holiday movie season.

“Deja Vu,” the Denzel Washington starrer from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, bowed at No. 3 with $29 million over five days off 3,108. Pic hit $20.8 million over three days for a per-engagement average of $6,704. Opening was Washington’s seventh of more than $20 million.

Fox’s Christmas comedy “Deck the Halls,” meanwhile, decorated the studio’s coffers with $12 million over three days and almost $17 million for five by appealing mostly to females.

Fox’s holdover “Borat” rounded out the top five, taking in $15.4 million over the five-day holiday to raise it cume to nearly $110 million. “Borat” is now being boosted by repeat biz, as the demos on an R-rated comedy give the studio access to just so many eyeballs.

Meanwhile, the two-weekend “Happy Feet” B.O. stomp has hurt Paramount/DreamWorks Animation’s “Flushed Away,” a CG pic about rats that’s cumed $57.3 million in four weeks of release. “Flushed” took in $7.6 million over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday.

On the weaker side, Warner and Regency’s arty sci-fi epic “The Fountain,” from “Requiem for a Dream” helmer Darren Aronofsky, and New Line’s rock ‘n’ roll laffer “Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny” were left to scrap it out for No. 10 on the charts.

“Fountain,” starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz, drained just $5.4 million off 1,472 engagements in five days, as it faced off against a bevy of brainy specialty films aiming for the same aud. Pic’s three-day take was $3.7 million for a per-engagement average of $2,531.

“Tenacious D,” starring Jack Black, rocked just $5.4 million over five days and $3.2 million over three off 1,919 gigs.

Also having a tough time finding auds was MGM’s “Bobby,” which expanded from its limited run into 1,667 engagements. Starry ensembler surrounding the death of Bobby Kennedy took in $4.9 million over the three-day frame. MGM distribution topper Clark Woods said the studio was “disappointed” with the results but would try to let word of mouth build.

Harvey Weinstein — whose TWC has a distribution deal with MGM — pointed out the studio opted not to release the pic on Wednesday, the anniversary of JFK’s assassination, as a sign of respect.

Sony’s cerebral “Stranger Than Fiction” dropped just 9%, finding $6 million over three days to raise its total take to $32.7 million. Pic stars Will Farrell as a man whose life is mysteriously being run by a female novelist.

Combined biz of the top 10 pics over the frame nearly matched the Thanksgiving sesh a year ago, when two holdovers — Warners’ latest “Harry Potter” pic and Fox’s “Walk the Line” — took the top two spots.

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