Meet the Fockers: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal's Meet the Fockers met with a very merry opening at the boxoffice in North America this Christmas weekend as the comedy unwrapped an estimated $44.7 million, collecting a sterling $68.5 million since its debut Wednesday. Some competing distribution executives put the opening weekend for Fockers slightly higher, so come this morning the Ben Stiller-Robert De Niro starrer, directed by Jay Roach and co-starring Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand, might get another present.

The PG-13-rated sequel, a follow-up to the hit film Meet the Parents, proved the biggest opening ever for a Christmas comedy, topping the $33.6 million of Paramount's What Women Want.

The Saturday gross for "Fockers" was around $19.1 million -- the single biggest Christmas Day gross in history, besting New Line Cinema's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which generated $14 million last year. The achievement of "Fockers" is all the more impressive considering that with Christmas Eve -- the slowest moviegoing day of the year, when many theaters close at noon -- falling on a Friday, it was one step away from the least favorable scenario that could happen at the boxoffice: having Christmas Eve fall on a Saturday.

Along with lowered boxoffice grosses, this particular holiday configuration also makes weekend estimates more difficult, so there might be a shift in grosses and rankings when the final numbers are reported.

Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.