'Harry Potter' set to rule Thanksgiving box office

Updated: 2010-11-24 14:33


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'Harry Potter' set to rule Thanksgiving box office

LOS ANGELES  - Harry Potter will easily retain his crown at the weekend box office in North America even as four new movies take advantage of Thanksgiving-fueled business.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" rang up $125 million during its first weekend and could do up to half as well during the three days beginning Friday.

Of the four new movies opening Wednesday, a day ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, Disney's 3D animated adventure "Tangled" should perform the best. Industry prognosticators expect it to earn $25 million or more for the weekend and up to $40 million for the Wednesday-Sunday span.

Also new are:

- Sony's female-oriented musical "Burlesque" -- starring Christina Aguilera and Cher -- which should fetch low teen millions for the weekend and reach at least the high teens through its first five days;

- Fox's romantic comedy "Love and Other Drugs, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, which should cop $13 million or more in Friday-Sunday sales and perhaps $17 million from the longer period; and

- CBS Films' guy-friendly Dwayne Johnson action movie "Faster," similarly speeding toward a sum in the low teen millions for the weekend and a five-day total in the high teens.

A retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale -- with Mandy Moore providing the voice of the long-haired princess -- "Tangled" is getting the widest release of any of the market entrants with more than 3,500 playdates, including 2,400-plus 3D locations.

"It may skew female going into it, but there is no question that it's going to play much broader than people may expect," Disney distribution president Chuck Viane said.

Sony says the perception of "Burlesque" as a chick flick is misleading.

"Its primary audience is girls and women, there's no doubt about it," Sony distribution president Rory Bruer said. "But I've yet to meet a guy who saw the movie who doesn't also like."

Fox distribution president Bruce Snyder hopes the guys will like "Love" as much as the gals. "That could be the advantage of being a date-night movie," Snyder said.

Faster is nascent studio CBS Films' first release since "The Back-Up Plan" began its $37.5 million run last April.

"We are back in action, and The Rock (Johnson) is back in action," CBS Films distribution boss Steven Friedlander said.

Also this weekend, the Weinstein Co. debuts early awards candidate "The King's Speech" in New York and Los Angeles, and Freestyle Releasing will roll out "The Nutcracker in 3D" in 41 locations.

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