Holiday Box-office Battle To Continue
The same films that have been battling it out at the box office since the holiday week began on Monday will be doing so through the weekend, with DreamWorks/Paramount's Transformers expected to climb well beyond the $100-million mark. The film, which opened with preview screenings on Monday, has been racking up weekend-like numbers ever since and had already reached $84.92 million by Thursday. (Wednesday's $27.9-million gross for the film represented a single-day record for a July 4th holiday.) Meanwhile, Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille, which got off to a relatively tame start last weekend, appeared to be gaining momentum as it exceeded mid-week ticket sales for earlier Pixar-produced features. By Thursday, its combined gross came to $80.61 million. Although running third in the box-office race, 20th Century Fox's Live Free and Die Hard was also scoring solid results, ringing up an estimated $66.84 million as it entered the weekend. In a somewhat limited release, Michael Moore's Sicko plans to increase its theater count to 703. Its per-theater gross had been second only to Transformers throughout the week. By Thursday, it had grossed $7.61 million. Meanwhile, on Thursday Sicko producer Meghan O'Hara denied reports that Moore plans to attend a documentary film festival in Iran, where Sicko is due to be screened in October. O'Hara claimed that the reports had been circulated "by conservative opponents of Michael who would rather make up stories out of whole cloth than actually engage in a debate on the merits of our broken health care system or why it is that George W. Bush took us to war in Iraq."