The boxoffice weekend is shaping up as the kind that industry executives dream about.
Just look at the frame's wide openers: Summit Entertainment's youthful vampire film "Twilight" and Disney's animated family comedy "Bolt" each target reasonably distinct audiences and should open north of $50 million and $40 million, respectively.
Then consider that last weekend's James Bond behemoth "Quantum of Solace" should register well above $30 million for Sony and MGM. And family laugher "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" ought to ring up more than $20 million for DreamWorks Animation and Paramount.
Do the math, and it's plain to see that those four releases alone will go far in matching the industry's $162 million haul from the same frame a year ago. But it's also generally true that a flood of business for one or more big releases tends to raise all theatrical boats.
So it's a foregone conclusion that the weekend boxoffice will outpace its year-ago comparison -- just as in seven of the eight previous sessions -- as Hollywood marks a merry start to the holiday boxoffice season and Summit execs unwrap an early yuletide gift.
Set for about 3,400 playdates, "Twilight" cost Summit $37 million to produce after Paramount and Fox Atomic passed on the project. Execs at the fledgling indie -- when they're not busy managing expectations on the scope of their "Twilight" good fortune -- are pinching themselves.