‘Chipmunks’ Deliver Roaring Pre-Sales

Released Wednesday, Fox’s “Squeakquel” is the top family film for advanced ticket orders, Fandango reports

Kicking off what is expected to be a huge Christmas holiday weekend at the box office Wednesday, Fox’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks” sequel has become the top advanced ticket seller of any family film released this year, according to Fandango.

Opening in 3,656 venues Wednesday, “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” is selling at a brisker advanced-ordering rate than “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” or “Up,” Fandango reports.

A follow-up to 2007’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” which grossed $360.6 million globally, “The Squeakquel” is expected by its distributor to open in the $40 million-$50 million range.

Overall, the North American box office is projected by Hollywood.com to exceed the $370 million it generated during the Christmas 2008 holiday weekend.

Besides “Chipmunks 2,” Paramount’s “Up in the Air” is also making a big move Wednesday, expanding into about 1,800 theaters after three high-yielding weeks in limited release.

On Friday, Warner’s “Sherlock Holmes” and Universal’s “It’s Complicated” will also join the wide-release fray.