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Holdovers hover at box office

'One Missed Call' the only new wide release

After all the holiday traffic, horror entry “One Missed Call” will be the only new wide release at the domestic box office this weekend.Warner Bros. is distributing “One Missed Call” in 2,240 theaters through its output deal with Alcon Entertainment. Pic, starring Shannyn Sossamon and Edward Burns, is about a girl who hears herself being murdered in a voice message three days into the future.

New specialty titles entering the fray are Andrew Piddington’s “The Killing of John Lennon,” which IFC First Take plays in one theater in New York, and Korean horror title “A Bloody Aria,” which ImaginAsian also opens in one theater.

Looking ahead, 20th Century Fox has decided to push back the release of Katherine Heigl romantic comedy “27 Dresses” from Jan. 11 to Jan. 18. Pic saw mostly sold-out sneaks Dec. 27 and will sneak again Jan. 13 in some 500 – 600 theaters.

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This weekend, holdovers “National Treasure: Book of Secrets,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “I Am Legend” should continue to dominate the upper reaches of the box office chart.

“Book of Secrets,” which finished its first two weekends at No. 1, posted a domestic gross of $147.2 million through Wednesday. “Alvin,” which finished at No. 2 last weekend, grossed $157.5 million through Wednesday. “I Am Legend” placed No. 3, with a gross of $209.5 million through Wednesday.

The wildcard could be Fox Searchlight’s breakout indie hit “Juno,” which goes nationwide in its fifth weekend, expanding from 1,109 to 1,925 theaters.

“Juno,” with a domestic cume of $33.7 million through Wednesday, was No. 5 overall last weekend. Coming in No. 4 was Universal’s Tom Hanks-Julia Roberts starrer “Charlie Wilson’s War,” which sported a cume of $43.1 million through Wednesday.

On the specialty side, two other high-profile pics are expanding as well. Focus Features’ period piece “Atonement” goes from 310 theaters to 583 in its fourth frame. Cume on the James McAvoy-Keira Knightley film was $13.5 million through Wednesday.

Picturehouse expands critically acclaimed Spanish horror pic “The Orphanage” from 19 to 69 theaters. Movie posted a per-screen average of $12,280 in its debut last weekend, grossing $233,323.

Overseas business

On the foreign front, “I Am Legend” is likely to extend its win streak to three this weekend as the sci-fier expands into Australia, Hungary and New Zealand. “Legend,” which handily won the final frame of 2007 with $46 million, had already cumed $126 million from 25 markets as of New Year’s Day and should more than double that figure by the end of its foreign run.

“The Golden Compass” will also remain a strong international player, in sharp contrast with the fantasy’s modest domestic performance. Foreign audiences have found “Compass” magnetic, with international cume topping $202 million as of Wednesday — more than three times the $61 million domestic total.

“Compass,” which was sold off to a variety of distribs by New Line to help finance the pic, has generated solid numbers in most major markets, led by $45 million in the U.K., $24 million in South Korea, $19 million in France, $18 million in Germany and $16 million in Spain. Warner Bros. holds the rights in German-speaking Europe and much of Eastern Europe, including Russia.

“Compass” is expanding this weekend into India and Indonesia. Its final major market launch will be in Japan in March.

Fox is expanding “Alvin and the Chipmunks” into Australia and Brazil and “Aliens vs. Predator — Requiem” into France, Mexico, Sweden and Taiwan. “Alvin” has cumed $48 million overseas while the “AVP” sequel has hit $23 million outside the U.S.

Disney’s adding markets for its late-year entries. “Enchanted,” which has cumed $122 million internationally, moves into Argentina; “National Treasure: Book of Secrets,” with $77 million overseas, goes into Belgium, Greece, Turkey.

Ang Lee’s “Lust, Caution,” which was a major hit in Asian markets, moves into the U.K. Other launches include “American Gangster” into Argentina, Denmark and Hong Kong; “Bee Movie” into South Korea; “Charlie Wilson’s War” in its first foreign markets in the Middle East and Portugal; and “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” into Thailand.