Aniston’s ‘Marley’ continues to beat up Pitt’s ‘Button’

12.27.08 9 years ago

20th Century Fox

Jennifer Aniston is taking it to her ex-husband, Brad Pitt.  Revenge is sweet, no?

After a startling Christmas Day kick off, Aniston and Owen Wilson”s dog dramedy “Marley & Me” kept it”s sizable lead in Friday”s post-holiday box office.  The much-needed 20th Century Fox hit dipped only 4% raking in another $14 million.  That brings its two-day total to an impressive $28.6 million.

Not only is the picture the biggest hit for Jennifer Anniston since 2003″s “Bruce Almighty,” it proves audiences are willing to welcome back her co-star, the personally troubled Owen Wilson, with open arms.  Of course, the TV spots filled with one of the film”s Labrador puppies popping out of a Christmas gift box didn”t hurt either.  At this point, “Marley” is projecting for a four-day weekend north of $50 million and perhaps $100 million by the end of the New Year”s Eve holiday weekend.

Following right behind, David Fincher”s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” continued it”s impressive debut by again, narrowly beating out the Adam Sandler comedy “Bedtime Stories.”  The Brad Pitt opus came in second with $10.2 million, remarkable considering it”s 2 hours and 45 minute running time.  After this weekend”s results, the Oscar hopeful will solidify its chances at a best picture nomination and possible win.  It should enter next week with almost $40 million in its coffers.

Disney”s “Stories” was third with a somewhat disappointing $9.85 million.  The film was expected to have a big jump on Friday when more families and kids traditionally head to the multiplex but “Marley” appears to be eating into it”s kid-friendly audience. The Adam Shankman directed comedy could jump ahead of Button” after Saturday”s matinees, but it won”t come close to beating America”s new favorite pup.  Anywhere from $40-45 million is possible at this point, actually a typical showing for a Sandler comedy debut.

Also, a tremendous shout out has to go to the new MGM marketing team. Headed by Mike Volleman and consultant Terry Press, the crew turned around a sinking ship in the Bryan Singer thriller “Valkyrie” and may be credited years from now for saving star Tom Cruise”s career.  The Nazi-themed drama was well on its way to being another Cruise bomb in the vein of last year”s “Lions for Lambs,” but instead opened to a fantastic $8.3 million on Christmas and brought in another $8.1 million on Friday.  The thriller should do $30 million this weekend.  If the picture ultimately tops out anywhere over $70 million it will be a huge success for the rebuilding lion.

As for previous releases, last weekend”s top film, Jim Carrey”s “Yes Man” stayed at number five with almost $6 million and the Will Smith melodrama “Seven Pounds,” stayed steady with $4.8 million.  It will take a miracle for “Pounds” to become Smith”s ninth movie to gross over $100 million and shows that Smith”s star power isn”t infallible.

The only major lump of coal this holiday had to be Liongate”s “The Spirit.” As expected, the first picture directed solely by acclaimed comic-book artist and writer Frank Miller, “Spirit” arrived dead on arrival with only $3.8 million.  It then took the biggest fall from Thursday”s releases with only $2.6 million on Friday.  At best, the critically panned picture is looking at no more than $12 million for the weekend.

In limited release, the Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet reunion drama “Revolutionary Road” grossed an impressive $67,000 on just three screens for a sparkling $22,000 average. 

Look for more updates on the holiday box office tomorrow on HitFix.

Complete Friday, December 26 results according to Box Office Mojo are below:

1. “Marley & Me” $14.0 million, $28.6 million total
2. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” $10.2 million, $22 million total
3. “Bedtime Stories” $9.85 million, $20.1 million total
4. “Valkyrie” $8.1 million, $16.4 million total
5. “Yes Man” $5.9 million, $39.1 million to date
6. “Seven Pounds” $4.8 million, $30.4 million to date
7.  “The Tale of Despereaux,” $3.1 million, $21.7million to date
8.  “The Day the Earth Stood Still” $2.7 million, $58.5 million to date
9. “The Spirit” $2.6 million, $6.4 million to date
10. “Four Christmases,” $1.8 million, $108.7 million to date

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