Math Man Math Man
1 Yes Man $18,160,000 $5,288 $18,160,000
2 Seven Pounds of Jellyfish $16,000,000 $5,801 $16,000,000
3 The Tale of Despereaux $10,507,000 $3,385 $10,507,000
4 The Day the Earth Stood Still $10,150,000 (-66.7%) $2,851 $48,627,000
5 Four Christmases $7,745,000 (-40.8%) $2,203 $100,154,000
6 Twilight $5,227,000 (-34.3%) $1,748 $158,461,000
7 Bolt $4,256,000 (-43.0%) $1,434 $95,009,000
8 Slumdog Millionaire $3,150,000 (+44.8%) $5,348 $12,134,000
9 Australia $2,325,000 (-44.2%) $1,051 $41,947,000
10 Quantum of Solace $2,150,000 (-42.1%) $1,147 $161,300,000

This just in: A Christmas Goose for everyone! Please see Phyllis in Accounts Payable for it. If you’re a vegetarian (or vegan) she’s got Goofu, the non-meat substitute version. Phyllis has also sculpted these to resemble Geese, though her work is shoddy at best, and arguably it more closely resembles a saggy breast. Sorry about that.

Will Smith and Jim Carrey duking it out at the top of the box office. Tell me, is it 1998 again? Cause when I look at those opening weekend grosses, it feels like it must be ten years ago. That shit had too much whiskey. Those grosses be morally unsure of their rectitude, cause those numbers are soft. That said, with both Yes Man and Smith vs. Jellyfish there is the normal holiday bounce next weekend, on top of the perceived weakness of January. Both films could eke their way into nine digits come February. Though if that bounce is not centered on next weekend’s three-day it could be because the holiday is in the middle of the week, and that fucks a lot of schedules up. Both Marley and Me and Bedtime Stories could be contenders (Benjamin Button will be interesting, but I can’t see it opening like a powerhouse), which makes this season sort of odd (oh yeah, The Spirit is fucked).

The Ghost of the not-Dead Larry King says: “Say Yes to Yes Man! Jim Carrey reminds me of a young Danny Kaye! And not since Ben Vereen performed for the first time have been as emotionally touched as when I saw Seven Pounds. Seven Pounds is what your heart will weigh after seeing this movie, because it will be so filled with blood and a lust for life!”

The Tale of Despereaux opened better than I thought, in that I didn’t think anyone cared. But I don’t watch Kid’s shows (TGotnDLK says: “excepting Go Diego Go, that kid’s got a future!”) so at least the word got out. I figured that it was an international production and the American release was just a lay-up, but it seems Americans spent money on this. Go figure. (TGotnDLK says: “Go figure on seeing this joyous film that speaks to the heart of audiences of all ages. Not since I saw a young Ann Miller dancer her way into America’s heart have I been so erotically charged!”)

Anyone hear a thud? (TGotnDLK says: “I did!”) Thanks not-Dead Larry King, what you heard was the sound of The Day the Earth Stood Still collapsing. The cinemascore reflected an audience that was not happy with the film they saw (not enough bullet time?) and Fox may see blood in the water and start losing screens in favor of Marley. When I type Marley, I think Aimee Mann. But that’s just me.  

And look at that Four Christmases crossed the hundred Million dollar mark. Someone’s got to be proud of that. Surely. And Bolt - if it hangs on through the week – should be over that sometime next Sunday. Twilight might play into January if it survives next week’s rush, though Quantum is done, and will be wrapping up shortly. 

Oscar season doesn’t seem to have begun this year as it did last. By November you already had real contenders. Though there’s a lot of talk, films like Doubt, Gran Torino, The Reader, The Wrestler and Revolutionary Road are taking it slow. Milk is hitting more screens, and so is Slumdog Millionaire. They both had their launches and played well in limited release, but since SM is the little picture that could this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the box office winner as well (TGotnDLK says: “It’ll make you feel like a million bucks. It reminds me of a young Rita Hayworth massaging my feet after a cold Los Angeles Kwanza!”), I mean a feel-good film doing better than a film about an assassinated political figure, who’d guess?*

*The Friday column will return. Soon.