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‘Les Mis’ looks to lead holiday box office

Tuner looks to outpace 'Django Unchained,' 'Parental Guidance'

The box office gifts from Christmas Day moviegoing will be led by Universal’s “Les Miserables,” which is tracking to earn roughly $8 million on Tuesday, with three-day weekend expectations in the low teens. The film should hit $30 million-plus through New Year’s Day.

“Les Mis,” at 2,804 locations, is outpacing “Sherlock Holmes” — the previous Christmas leader in advanced ticket sales, according to online ticketing sites Fandango and Movietickets.com. The $61 million-budgeted tuner, from helmer Tom Hooper, has been steadily building momentum with its core adult demo.

The Universal release opens day-and-date with the U.S. in some southeast Asian territories and Spain.

Also opening wide Christmas Day domestically is the Weinstein Co.’s “Django Unchained” and Fox’s “Parental Guidance.” The Weinstein pic is tracking a tad behind “Les Mis,” while “Parental Guidance” likely will start out with $3 million opening day.

Fox dated “Guidance” on Christmas as a family counterprogrammer; “Django” is expected to play best with men.

The previous best Christmas gross when the holiday fell on a Tuesday goes to 2001’s “Ali,” which earned $10.2 million opening day, for an eight-day total (through New Year’s Day) of $40 million domestically. Friday opener “Sherlock Holmes” holds the current Christmas Day record, with $24.6 million in 2009, for an opening weekend take of $62.3 million.

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