Friday, December 31, 2004

U.S. and Canada – With no new competition to speak of, last week’s Hollywood fare is set to once again dominate North American Box office receipts over the New Year holiday.

Of the new films opening this weekend, Lions Gate’s A Love Song for Bobby Long will have the widest release, playing in eight theatres in Los Angeles and New York. Other openers include ThinkFilm’s The Assassination of Richard Nixon, starring Sean Penn and Sony Pictures Classics William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons, both of which will be playing in four venues in New York and Los Angeles.

To be considered in wide release, a film must open or play in at least 1,000 theatres throughout the U.S. and Canada. The lack of any new wide release competition Friday almost ensures that the last week’s slate of films will benefit at the box office.

The most likely contender for top-money maker is Universal Studios’ Meet the Fockers, the sequel to 200’s Meet the Parents starring Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand. That movie raked in $44.7 million over the Christmas weekend and a total of #108.5 million as of Dec. 29, according to Box Office Mojo.

Fockers is being shown in 3,524 venues over the New Year weekend, six more than last week, making it the second-widest released film for the weekend. Only the Jim Carrey family comedy Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events with 3,623 venues has a wider release.