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'Polar Express' Builds Momentum Thanksgiving Weekend
Warner Bros.
November 30, 2004

'THE POLAR EXPRESS' BUILDS MOMENTUM, WITH CUMULATIVE GROSS OF $82,175,000, AS HOLIDAY AUDIENCES EMBRACE FILM

Tenacious Hold on Domestic Marketplace Demonstrated in Increasing Daily Grosses Over Thanksgiving Weekend at 35 Millimeter and IMAX Theaters

BURBANK, CA, 28 November 2004 -- The Polar Express has found a prominent place in the hearts of audiences as it grossed $20,055,000 throughout North America for the three-day Thanksgiving weekend, an increase of 28% over the preceding weekend. As the holiday season gets underway, the Christmas-themed picture is the only movie in wide release to increase its daily grosses over the previous weekend, defying standard box-office behavior and underscoring the film's enthusiastically positive word of mouth. The announcement was made today by Dan Fellman, President, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures. The studio is distributing the Castle Rock film worldwide.

The Polar Express's hold on the marketplace has translated into five-day grosses of $27,170,000 -- a 50% increase over the same five days the week before. Overwhelmingly positive audience response, which earned the movie some of the highest preview scores ever recorded, has been further documented with A+ CinemaScore exit-poll ratings, a coveted distinction that only a handful of movies receive each year.

"We are thrilled with the way this film is playing," stated Fellman. "We have believed in The Polar Express from the very beginning, and always expected that audiences would want more than ever to share the special meaning of this beautifully told story as the holiday season gets underway. They are embracing it, both in 35 millimeter and IMAX 3D format, and this tremendous and growing support for The Polar Express predicts powerful box-office performance going forward. The effect of seeing Chris Van Allsburg's classic book transformed into an unforgettable movie starring Tom Hanks and directed by Robert Zemeckis is really something to be savored on the big screen."

Sales of the soundtrack and single from The Polar Express, as well as Van Allsberg's book, have also been strong and growing, driven by the audience response to the motion picture.

In its third weekend in IMAX® theatres, The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience broke multiple records for a Hollywood simultaneous release, including highest weekend box-office gross, highest five-day box office gross and fastest to gross $10 million. Playing on 61 screens, the film grossed an estimated $2.75 million over the three-day period, an increase of approximately 30% over the $2.1 million record it set during its opening weekend three weeks ago. The movie has now grossed an estimated $10.3 million in 19 days, significantly beating the record previously held by Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The IMAX Experience, which crossed the $10 million mark in 71 days. For the five-day weekend, The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience grossed an estimated $3.8 million and registered a per-screen average of over $62,700.

"The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience continues to post incredible box office results and it's a testament to the movie and the power of The IMAX Experience®," said IMAX's Co-Chairman and Co-CEO's, Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. "The film performed better this past weekend than it did during its record-setting opening weekend, leading us to believe that positive word of mouth is driving more and more moviegoers to take the journey in IMAX® 3D. We're extremely pleased with what this film has accomplished and believe it is becoming a must see movie for this holiday season."

Castle Rock Entertainment presents, in association with Shangri-La Entertainment, a Playtone / ImageMovers / Golden Mean Production of a Robert Zemeckis Film: Tom Hanks in The Polar Express. Directed by Robert Zemeckis from a screenplay by Zemeckis & William Broyles, Jr., the film is produced by Steve Starkey, Robert Zemeckis, Gary Goetzman and William Teitler and is based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg. Tom Hanks, Jack Rapke and Chris Van Allsburg are the executive producers.

The production team includes directors of photography Don Burgess, A.S.C. and Robert Presley; production designers Rick Carter and Doug Chiang; and editors Jeremiah O'Driscoll & R. Orlando Duenas. Senior visual effects supervisors are Ken Ralston and Jerome Chen. Co-producer is Steven Boyd. Music score is by Alan Silvestri, and original songs by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri. The Polar Express is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. Soundtrack album on Warner Sunset/Reprise Records. This film is rated G by the MPAA.


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