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Penguin pic keeps Bond at bay

'Happy Feet' takes $7.4 mil on Wednesday

As the Thanksgiving weekend derby got underway, Warner Bros.’ CG animated penguin pic “Happy Feet” seemed off to a solid start, with estimates on Wednesday of about $7.4 million.

Holdover is still playing in 3,804 engagements, the frame’s widest release overall, and finished as last weekend’s No. 1 pic, barely beating out “Casino Royale.”

Next up was Sony/MGM’s James Bond pic “Royale,” with an estimated Wednesday take of about $6.65 million off 3,443.

Disney’s Denzel Washington-starrer “Deja Vu,” a sci fi thriller, had picked up a projected $3.6 million off 3,108 to round out the top three pics, which will likely battle it out for No. 1 over the five-day weekend.

Studio pros feel that there’s room for three pics to perform with healthy numbers over the extended frame.

Fox’s “Deck the Halls” was running in fifth place come Turkey Day, with just over $2 million from its Wednesday bow, according to projections. The studio’s comedy hit “Borat” was edging out “Halls” in No. 4.

Other wide openers, but in fewer engagements, this weekend include Warner’s “The Fountain” and New Line’s “Tenacious D” pic.

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