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Posted at 9:10 AM ET, 11/29/2010

Weekend box office: Harry Potter still rules, but 'Tangled' charms its way to a strong second

By Jen Chaney

The thief, the princess and the chameleon from "Tangled," nearly beating out Harry Potter for your box office dollars. (Disney via AP)

In news that surprised no one, the Thanksgiving weekend box office was dominated by family-friendly releases, including one about a certain wizard.

The cheat sheet on the movie-money winners and losers -- including the neck-and-neck finish for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" and "Tangled" -- can be found ahead in this week's box office rundown.

As expected, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" maintained its hold on the No. 1 spot, earning another $50.3 million over the weekend. (For those following the money, that means the latest Potter film has earned $220.3 million in North America, and $609.5 million worldwide.) Disney's thoroughly charming "Tangled" was close behind, though, with earnings of $49.1 million over the weekend, and a total of $69 million since its Wednesday release.

Rounding out the top three? "Megamind," which maintained its nice, steady business with another $12.8 million to add to Metro City's coffers. The takeaway: quality family movies are the best way to make money over the Thanksgiving weekend. Which seems like an obvious rule to follow, but somehow Hollywood often fails to do so. (Please see last Thanksgiving's release of "Old Dogs.")

The top five was rounded out by another newcomer, the Cher/Christina Aguilera musical "Burlesque" ($11.8 million), followed by Denzel Washington's "Unstoppable" ($11.7 million). The weekend's other widely released debuts -- "Love and Other Drugs," which opened in sixth place ($9.8 million), and "Faster," right behind it in seventh ($8.7 million) -- did not fare as well. "Faster" undoubtedly suffered from bad buzz and lousy marketing, while "Love" may have fallen victim to that timeless truth: Americans don't necessarily want to spend a holiday weekend watching a movie that deals with Parkinson's Disease, even if it is a romantic comedy, and Anne Hathaway is pretty good in it, and it features a boat load of nudity.

On the positive side, some well-received films continued to perform well in limited release. "127 Hours" inched its way up to 11th place with $1.7 million even though it's still showing on just 293 screens. "Fair Game," which broke into the top 10 for the first time last week, fell back out but still made another $1.5 million on fewer than 500 screens.

And "The King's Speech" -- the exceptional, so-Oscar-worthy-it-hurts drama starring Colin Firth -- did simply splendidly. On just four screens, it earned $350,000, for a per-screen average of $87,500. So to recap: Colin Firth suffering from a stuttering problem and (in a couple of scenes) spewing out curse words? Good for business, at least on a small scale. Anne Hathaway, suffering from Parkinson's and baring her breasts? Not as good for business, at least as a wide release.

The only new major release next weekend is the martial arts Western "The Warrior's Way." Does that mean Harry Potter stays in the top spot for the third straight weekend? Or can Rapunzel and her decidedly long hair take "Tangled" to No. 1? Make your prediction by voting in our poll.

By Jen Chaney  | November 29, 2010; 9:10 AM ET
Categories:  Movies, Pop Culture  | Tags:  Weekend Box Office  
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