Universal's Meet TheFockers stayed atop the US charts with a mighty second weekend's businessthat propelled the comedy past $150m and helped set a new annual domestic boxoffice record.
The picture grossed an estimated $42.8m over three days, raising its runningtotal to $163.4m, which means Fockers should pass Meet The Parents'$166.2m lifetime gross on Monday (3).
Fockers grossed a record amount for any picture on both New Year's Eveand New Year's Day, taking $12.2m and $18m respectively.
These new marks passed the previous best by Castaway on $8.5m in 2000and The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King on $12.8m in 2004respectively.
Overall ticket sales for 2004 amounted to $9.4bn according to early estimates,overtaking the previous mark of $9.32bn set in 2002. Domestic box office for2003 reached $9.27bn.
Tempering the new record is the fact that ticket sales in 2004 droppedapproximately 1.7% to 1.51billion compared to 1.54billion the previous year.
As befits this time of year there were no new top 10 entries. Paramount'schildren's tale Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events stayed in second place on $14.7m for a rocksolid $94.8m in its third weekend, while Miramax's heavyweight awards contenderThe Aviator climbed one to third on $11.2m for $31.1mafter the same amount of time.
Twentieth Century Fox's cartoon adaptation Fat Albert fell one placeto fourth for a $33.9m running total in its second weekend, and Warner Bros'
Buoyed by holiday business, two pictures passed $150m. Buena Vista'sadventure National Treasure re-entered the top 10 after vaulting fiveplaces to sixth and sits on $154.7m after seven weekends, while Warner Bros' ThePolar Express fell two to eighth on $155.2m after eight.
In its second weekend Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom Of The Opera -another Warner Bros release - climbed one place to ninth on $4.8m for $16.3m.
Universal's comedy In Good Company, starring Dennis Quaid, Topher Graceand Scarlett Johansson and directed by Paul Weitz, opened to great reviewsoutside the top 10 on $156,000 on three screens.
Since opening last Wednesday the picture has taken $229,000 and is scheduled toexpand wide to 1,600 theatres on Jan 14.
Next weekend's wide release is Universal's paranormal mystery White Noise,starring Michael Keaton and Deborah Kara Unger.
Estimated Top Ten US Dec 31 2004-Jan 2 2005
Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimatedtotal to date
1 (1) Meet The Fockers (Universal) DreamWorks Int'l $42.8m $163.4m
2 (2) Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events (Paramount)DreamWorks Int'l $14.7m $94.8m
3 (4) The Aviator (Miramax) Miramax Int'l $11.2m $31.1m
4 (3) Fat Albert (Fox) Fox Int'l $10.7m $33.9m
5 (5) Ocean's Twelve (Warner Bros) Warner Bros Int'l $9.2m $106.9m
6 (11) National Treasure (Buena Vista) BVI $7m $154.7m
7 (8) Spanglish (Sony) SPRI $6.3m $31m
8 (6) The Polar Express (Warner Bros) Warner Bros Int'l $5.7m $155.2m
9 (10) Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom Of The Opera (Warner Bros)Odyssey Entertainment $4.8m $16.3m
10 (7) Darkness (Dimension) Filmax Int'l $4.5m $16.5m