UIP's Meet The Parents has become one of the biggest Christmas hits of the year in Australia after its powerful performance on December 26.

The Ben Stiller-Robert De Niro comedy took $700,000 from 256 screens, pushing its seven day gross up to January 1 to $3.9m. December 26 is regarded as so lucrative in Australia that seven films launched on the public holiday despite it falling on a Tuesday. With very few exceptions, new films usually open on a Thursday.

Among the December 26 competitors were Buena Vista International's 102 Dalmations, which took about $226,000 from 231 screens. The puppy flick's seven day total came to $1.49m.

Also vying for audiences was Roadshow's Little Nicky, which came away with $169,000 from 166 screens for a weekly gross of $800,000.

Of the key films with a holiday head start, Columbia TriStar's Charlie's Angels has now grossed $9.3m in six weeks. The TV adaptation, released on November 23 on a massive 295 screens, is guaranteed a spot among the big hits of the year.

UIP's Chicken Run opened two weeks after Angels, reaching $5.6m in its first four weeks. The comparable figure for Angels was $7.8m.