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‘Polly’ packs big B.O. punch for U

Monday perf sees 'Rings' ascend to second place

“Polly” was still sitting pretty, but other box office rankings through Monday’s Martin Luther King holiday changed a bit from the weekend pecking order.

Universal laffer “Along Came Polly” grossed an estimated $32.8 million in opening B.O. over the four-day holiday frame. The Ben Stiller-Jennifer Aniston starrer took in an estimated $27.6 mil through Sunday before strong B.O. from kids and adults off for the Monday holiday padded its debut total.

Pic’s three- and four-day figures set new highs for a comedy bowing in January.

“What a great way for Universal’s film group to kick off the new year,” U distribution prexy Nikki Rocco enthused.

Grabbing the B.O. silver medal over the holiday-lengthened frame was New Line’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” with $12.7 million.

“King,” which had been stuck in fourth place on the frame as of Sunday morning, rose through the rankings on the basis of a $2.4 million Monday. Perf — punctuated by pic’s capturing top honors from the Producers Guild of America on Saturday — pushed “King’s” cume to $329.3 million through five weeks of release.

Sony’s Tim Burton fantasy “Big Fish” settled for the bronze medal with $12.3 million over four days. And Warner Bros.’ Ice Cube starrer “Torque,” another wide opener, was fourth with $11.8 million.

Weekend marked the second consecutive session that “Fish” started out in front of “King” only to see the action-fantasy paddle by in the final rankings. Over the previous weekend, initial estimates showed the Sony pic topping B.O. rankings in its first frame of wide release — until final figures proved New Line’s leggy title had actually finished first for a fourth consecutive session.

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