Gary Susman
December 28, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

For the second straight weekend, Meet the Fockers was like buttah at the box office. Let us count the ways: It ruled at the multiplex with an estimated $42.8 million weekend, bringing the sequel’s total to $163.4 weekend, having earned nearly as much in 12 days of release as 2000’s Meet the Parents made during its entire run ($166 million). Fockers also set two new records. Its $12.2 million New Year’s Eve was the best Dec. 31 take ever (previous record holder Cast Away earned $8.5 million four years ago), and it also set a New Year’s Day record of $18 million, beating the $12.8 million earned last Jan. 1 by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Holding in second place for the weekend was Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, which scared up another $14.7 million. The Aviator ascended one spot to No. 3 and flew off with another $11.2 million. Gravity began to take its toll on Fat Albert, which fell one notch to No. 4 on sales of $10.7 million. Remaining at No. 5 was Ocean’s Twelve, with $9.2 million.

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