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‘Dreamgirls’ a holiday treat; ‘Museum’ tops box office

Stiller comedy is weekend’s top exhibit

“Dreamgirls” may have been late to the holiday party, bowing Monday instead of ahead of the holiday weekend, but the Paramount-DreamWorks tuner showed plenty of kick, taking in $8.7 million in a single day and landing in the top 10.

“Dreamgirls” cume — which includes a limited run of special roadshow engagements with $25 tickets in just three theaters — now stands at $9.5 million.

Bill Condon-helmed tuner toplining Beyonce, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy posted a per-playdate average of $10,000-plus on Monday.

Meanwhile, Fox’s PG-rated family comedy “Night at the Museum” hauled in $43.2 million over the four-day Christmas frame to easily dominate domestic B.O. and leave any competish in the dust.

Pic — playing in 3,685 locations — posted healthy gains of $12.4 million on Christmas Day to add to its three-day tally of $30.8 million. “Night” stars Ben Stiller, with Robin Williams and Owen Wilson as supernaturally lively museum exhibits.

Sony’s “The Pursuit of Happyness,” starring Will Smith, took the No. 2 spot, earning $23.1 million over four days off 2,863. Cume on the feel-good drama reached $61.4 million after two weeks in release.

MGM’s latest pic in the “Rocky” franchise, Sylvester Stallone’s “Rocky Balboa,” punched up $17.3 million over the four-day frame to take third. Cume on the $24 million-budgeted pic has been a scrappy $26.7 million since a Wednesday release.

“Rocky” played in 3,017 over the weekend to a per-playdate average of $5,636. Aud was 62% male over the frame.

MGM also rolled out the holiday horror pic “Black Christmas” on Monday to $3.3 million off 1,278. It expands this weekend.

In other new openers, Universal’s Robert De Niro-helmed political pic “The Good Shepherd” drew $14.25 million over the four days, including Monday, from 2,215 — good enough for a per-playdate average of $6,435 and a No. 4 finish.

Warner Bros.’ newly released gridiron drama “We Are Marshall” fumbled a bit over the frame, likely suffering at the hands of rival sports pic “Rocky.” Gridiron tale took $9.68 million over four days off 2,606 for a per-playdate average of $3,291.

“Marshall” just beat out a duo of family holdovers — Paramount’s G-rated “Charlotte’s Web” and Fox’s “Eragon.” Pigskin pic had been behind those two as of Sunday but managed to rally some needed biz Monday.

“Charlotte’s Web” spun just over $9.5 million in four days to lift cume to $28.3 million after two frames. And the fantasy-lit adaptation “Eragon” flapped to a four-day take of $9.35 million. Cume is just under $40 million after two frames.

Even as “Dreamgirls” began dancing to some high numbers, other pics found themselves limping along in what has been a cramped December sked.

Sony romantic comedy “The Holiday” took in just $7.5 million over the four-day frame, raising cume to $37.1 million after three weeks in the multiplexes. Playing 2,635 engagements, pic scored a four-day per-playdate average of $2,694. Three-day take was $4.9 million.

The last film from “Holiday” helmer Nancy Meyers, “Something’s Gotta Give” cumed $55.9 million after three weeks in release in December 2003.

Warners political drama “Blood Diamond” also had trouble finding a wide aud over the holiday frame. Pic played to $4.8 million over the four-day frame, with a per-playdate average of $2,489 off 1,920. Cume is $26.8 million after three frames.

Overall B.O. over the four-day frame lagged 8% behind last year’s, when “King Kong,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and “Fun With Dick and Jane” were the top draws.

However, “Museum” did hit some notable marks: Pic was the third-highest grosser over the Christmas frame, after “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” and “Meet the Fockers,” and Stiller’s fifth No. 1 finish for a film he toplined.

Compared to the “Dreamgirls” start, Miramax’s 2002 musical “Chicago” roped in $9.2 million by its second frame, when it expanded to 304 screens.

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