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<i>Ali</i> KOs Christmas Day Opening

26 Dec, 2001 By: Hive News

Columbia Pictures' Ali debuted yesterday with $10,216,625 in box office receipts, claiming the title as the biggest Christmas Day opening ever, the studio says.

"Ali scored a first-round knockdown with the highest-grossing Christmas Day opening of all time," says Jeff Blake, president of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution for Columbia Pictures. "The film played well across the United States and Canada and we couldn't be more thrilled with the momentum we have moving into the weekend."

The opening surpasses that of Patch Adams, the Robin Williams starrer that previously held the top spot with its Christmas Day (Friday) 1998 opening of $8,081,760. Patch Adams went on to earn $135 million in domestic receipts.

Last week, Ali earned Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor for Will Smith in the title role, Best Supporting Actor for Jon Voight as Howard Cosell and Best Original Score. The Broadcast Film Critics Association also recognized the film with nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor for Smith and Best Supporting Actor for Voight.

Also starring are Jamie Foxx as Drew "Bundini" Brown, Mario Van Peebles as Malcolm X, Ron Silver as Angelo Dundee, Jeffrey Wright as Howard Bingham, Mykelti Williamson as Don King, Jada Pinkett Smith as Sonji Roi, Nona Gaye as Belinda, Michael Michele as Veronica and Joe Morton as Chauncy Eskridge. Paul Rodriguez, Barry Shabaka Henley, Giancarlo Esposito, Laurence Mason, Candy Brown Houston, Michael Bentt, James Toney and Charles Shufford play other key roles.

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