I Am Legend $76,535,000 $21,224 $76,535,000
Alvin and the Chipmunks $45,000,000 $12,949 $45,000,000
The Golden Compass $9,025,000 (-65.0%) $2,558 $40,968,000
Enchanted $6,004,000 (-43.9%) $1,958 $92,271,000
No Country for Old Men $3,000,000 (-27.1%) $2,225 $33,562,000
The Perfect Holiday $2,965,000 $2,268 $3,612,000
Fred Claus $2,305,000 (-50.0%) $838 $68,965,000
This Christmas $2,300,000 (-53.6%) $1,197 $46,043,000
Atonement $1,853,000 (+136.3%) $15,837 $2,964,000
August Rush $1,785,000 (-49.2%) $889 $28,065,000

Wow. Who knew August Rush would get near $30? Kevin Smith has his $20 base, maybe Robin Williams has a $30 base? If it was cheap, Warners will be happy.

Umm… oh yeah, I Am Legend crushed expectations to open near $80 million. Will Smith triumphs! The reactions to the pic seem to be from eh to eh, but Smith and Co. have to be smiling from eah to eah.

Twenty years ago I bought He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper on audio cassette, twenty years later, Will “Fresh Prince” Smith is the biggest star in Hollywood. Who knew a rapper best known for singing (essentially) gimmick joke raps like Nightmare on my Street would get this far. Not to mention he was a TV star for more than five years. Michael J. Fox couldn’t do what Smith’s done. Though many critique his use of the phrase “Ah, hell no” artistically, he’s worked with Michael Mann to deliver his finest performance (yeah I went there), and with Michael Bay brought us the most hedonistic mainstream action film of the 21st century. I have no doubt the man will keep being interesting, even if this project was inherently compromised. Who cares, it worked.

Will it get to $200? Now that’s a question. The answer is likely just.

With children’s films tracking is wildly divergent, but I assumed that people, well, I like to have a little faith in humanity, and the idea of singing chipmunks – born of the ability to play 33’s at 45 and vice versa – had its day in the sun in 1958. This near-fifty year tradition of what amounts to a very thin premise has been a gold mine for everyone involved, which has produced a cartoon show (watch out, here they come), and now CGI incarnations. I guess people suffering TV withdrawls may have wanted to see Jason Lee on the big screen again. But this number is shocking, and speaks more to the paucity of palatable kid’s films.

“Paucity of palatable kid’s films.” You hear that Golden Compass? What’s that, you can’t hear because your ears are now filled with blood cause you’ve been kicked around so much? Well, people knew you were a weak sister, Golden Compass, and you didn’t find God or Hitler, so you were fresh meat for the bulls. I heard your cell, err, bunkmate is trading you for cigarettes at this point. No, not packs, just singles (though he only takes menthols, or 100’s). If you make it to $50, if, that’s only one-fifth what you cost (never mind P&A). And being the number one film in Bulgaria for four weeks running ain’t gonna help your cause, Cuz. I don’t know what you do at this point but learn to like it.

The Perfect Holiday tanked, I guess both Smith and This Christmas killed it. Enchanted should get over the nine digit mark some time around Christmas, which is a good thing, though again, I think it’s great play will be on home video. Fred Claus gets near $70, which is not what anyone wanted, but it’ll do, while Oscar horse Atonement cracks the top ten on 117 screens. That’s also good news, because it needs to do just well enough with audiences to help make its awards case. At this point, even though some audiences are frustrated with elements of it, it looks as though No Country has smooth sailing into nomination territory, and so the three million it picked up this weekend means it’s become the smart film to go to. I don’t think it will expand much more, but if it can keep playing for three or four more weeks (which it will) all the awards and critics lists will help keep it going until it at least wins something come Oscars (I’m guessing best Directors, but Adaptated Screenplay might also be in the works, though I hold my doubts about a BP win). Juno, which is also favored in the actress and writing categories (go Diablo, go!) was just outside of the top ten on 40 screens. Impressive. Most impressive.

Next week brings a glut of entertainments starring Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp, John C. Reilly, Nicholas Cage and Hilary Swank. The year will close with a bang, that’s for damn sure.