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Weekend box office

What a difference a hit movie -- or two -- can make. A few short months ago, Disney couldn’t seem to do anything right (remember “The Alamo”? “Hidalgo”?). Now, its stock is up about 16%, its long-in-the-dumps ABC has a couple of hits, and with help from (estranged partner) Pixar and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Disney is the first studio to occupy the top two slots over Thanksgiving weekend.

The company still has to contend with a messy trial over Michael Ovitz’s compensation package -- which could get very nasty depending on the verdict. It could leave somebody (board members) holding the bag for as much as $200 million. Disney also has to find a successor to Chief Executive Michael Eisner, whose contract expires in September 2006 but who may depart as soon as a successor is named. When you’ve got two hit movies, however, no problem seems insurmountable.

*--* MOVIE 3-DAY TOTAL VENUES AVG WEEKS (STUDIO) GROSS (Millions) PER (MILLIONS) VENUE

1 National Treasure $32.2 $87.3 3,243 $9,926 2 (Buena Vista)

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2 The Incredibles $23.6 $214.3 3,453 $6,819 4 (Buena Vista/Pixar)

3 Christmas With the $21.6 $30.8 3,393 $6,357 1 Kranks (Sony/Revolution)

4 The Polar Express $19.4 $81.5 3,650 $5,312 3 (Warner Bros.)

5 The SpongeBob $17.8 $58.8 3,307 $5,396 2 SquarePants Movie (Paramount)

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6 Alexander $13.7 $21.8 2,445 $5,598 1 (Warner Bros.)

7 Bridget Jones: The $6.2 $32.0 2,473 $2,520 3 Edge of Reason (Universal)

8 Finding Neverland $4.7 $7.8 513 $9,104 3 (Miramax)

9 Ray $4.0 $65.1 1,495 $2,660 5 (Universal)

10 After the Sunset $3.1 $24.3 2,309 $1,343 3 (New Line)

*--*

Source: Nielsen EDI Inc.

Los Angeles Times

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-- R. Kinsey Lowe


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