Buoyed by excellent word of mouth Buena Vista's animated tale Bolt climbed to second place in its second weekend on $26.6m over three for $66.9m, a whisker ahead of Summit Entertainment's tween champion Twilight, which plunged 62% in its second weekend on $26.4m for $119.7m.
Despite the extent of the drop Summit chiefs will nonetheless be thrilled with the film's progress and it may even finish second when official results are released on Monday.
Fox's adventure romance Australia with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman opened better than expected in fifth place on $14.8m for $20m over five days, while Lionsgate's action romp Transporter 3 starring Jason Statham arrived in seventh place on $12.3m for $18.5m.
However the biggest pound-for-pound launch of the weekend was Milk, Focus Features strong awards contender that debuted in tenth place on a magnificent $1.4m over three and $1.9m over five days from 36 theatres.
Focus executives said the three-day result ranked as the biggest ever for a film released in the 30-40 theatre range as Milk averaged $38,375 per theatre over three days and $52,627 over five.
There were sold out shows across the country and three-day results of note include $154,848 at The Castro in San Francisco where the film had an emotional world premiere recently, $101,095 at the Arclight Hollywood and $104,109 at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas in New York.
Miramax's The Boy In The Striped Pajamas fell once place to number nine on $1.7m for $5.2m after four weekends while Fox Searchlight's Slumdog Millionaire held firm in 11th place in its third weekend on $1.4m for $3.6m. Universal's Changeling fell six places to number 12 on $1.2m for $33.9m after six.
Next weekend's wide releases are: Lionsgate's Punisher: War Zone with Ray Stevenson and Sony's Cadillac Records starring Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright and Beyonce Knowles.
Estimated Top 10 North America Nov 28-30, 2008
Film (Dist)/Int'l dist/Est wkd gross/Est total to date
1 (-) Four Christmases (Warner Bros) NLI $31.7m $46.7m
2 (3) Bolt (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $26.6m $66.9m
3 (1) Twilight (Summit Ent) Summit Int'l $26.4m $119.7m
4 (2) Quantum Of Solace (Sony/MGM) SPRI $19.5m $142.1m
5 (-) Australia (Fox) Fox Int'l $14.8m $20m
6 (4) Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (DreamWorks-Paramount) PPI $14.5m $159.5m
7 (-) Transporter 3 (Lionsgate) Europa Corp $12.3m $18.5m
8 (5) Role Models (Universal) UPI $5.3m $57.9m
9 (8) The Boy In The Striped Pajamas (Miramax) WDSMPI $1.7m $5.2m
10 (-) Milk (Focus Features) Focus Features Int'l $1.4m $1.9m