It only played in 852 theaters during just one day of the four-day holiday weekend, but Dreamgirls managed to place seventh on the list of top box-office performers for the penultimate weekend of the year with a take of $8.7 million. Paramount marketing chief Rob Moore told the Los Angeles Times that the movie had received a 95-percent approval rating on exit polls. "That's the highest I've ever seen, and I've been involved in testing for more than 20 years," he said. Overall, the box office was up some 10 percent over the comparable weekend a year ago, with 20th Century Fox's Night at the Museum leading the field with $43.2 million for the four days, according to Media By Numbers. The film knocked Will Smith's The Pursuit of Happyness to second place as it grossed $23.1 million. Rocky Balboa's comeback produced $17.3 million in ticket sales. Some analysts expressed surprise that the latest Rocky movie performed as well as it did but noted that it could hardly be regarded as a smash. However, MGM observed that the film had a relatively low production budget and was certain to become a winner for the studio. "This is a nice way for Stallone and for MGM to wrap up the franchise, studio spokesman Paul Pflug told the Los Angeles Daily News.
The top ten films for the four-day Christmas holiday weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Media by Numbers:
1. Night at the Museum, $42.2 million; 2. The Pursuit of Happyness, $23.1 million; 3. ROCKY BALBOA, $17 million; 4. The Good Shepherd, $13.9 million; 5. Charlotte's Web, $9.5 million; 6. Eragon, $9.3 million; 7. Dreamgirls, $8.9 million; 8. We Are Marshall, $8.6 million; 9. The Holiday, $7 million; 10. Happy Feet, $6.6 million.