Forget white Christmases. New Line/Warner Bros.' Four Christmases was green over the weekend, remaining in first place for the second week in a row after dropping only 41 percent from last week. With and estimated $18.2 million in ticket sales, the comedy has now earned $70.8 million since it opened over the Thanksgiving holiday. Summit Entertainment's Twilight also held up nicely, finishing in second place with about $13.2 million. But Disney's Bolt , which had been expected to capture family audiences and challenge the leaders, turned tail, and settled for $9.7 million after dropping 64 percent. Baz Luhrmann's epic Australia didn't fare much better, dropping 53 percent to $7.9 million. The film, which reportedly cost $130 million to make, has thus far taken in only $30.9 million. The only new film to open wide over the weekend, Punisher War Zone, tanked with just $4 million to land in eighth place, just ahead of Cadillac Records , which took in $3.5 million at only 686 theaters. Once again, the movies doing the biggest business were ones showing Oscar contenders in limited release. Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon averaged a whopping $60,049 in each of the three theaters where it played. Slumdog Millionaire , which won the best-film award from the National Board of Review last week, averaged $18,031 from each of 78 theaters, while Milk , starring Sean Penn averaged $17,076 at 99 theaters. By contrast, Four Christmases averaged $5,451 at each of 3,335 theaters. Overall, the top 12 movies grossed $77.5 million, up 6 percent from the same weekend a year ago.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Media by Numbers 1. Four Christmases , $18.2 million; 2. Twilight , $13.2 million; 3. Bolt, $9.7 million; 4. Australia , $7 million; 5. Quantum of Solace , $6.6 million; 6. Madagascar Escape 2 Africa, $5.1 million; 7. Transporter 3 , $4.5 million; 8. Punisher War Zone, $4 million; 9. Cadillac Records , $3.5 million; 10. Role Models, $2.6 million.

08/12/2008