The Top Five
#1 “Happy Feet” ($17 million)
#2 “Casino Royale” ($15.1 million)
#3 “Déjà Vu” ($11 million)
#4 “The Nativity Story” ($8 million)
#5 “Deck the Halls” ($6.6 million)
“Déjà Vu” opened over a week ago, but this past weekend lived up to the action film’s title, with the three top movies at the box office holding their slots for a second round.
“Happy Feet” took #1 for a third time with a decent weekend haul of $17 million — and a far-better-than-decent cumulative gross of $121 million. Continuing to nip at the cute little dancing penguins’ feet was the reboot of the James Bond franchise, “Casino Royale,” which earned $15.1 million and held #2 its third weekend in theaters. These two blockbusters continue to dominate the competition as no new fare seems to be resonating with audiences yet this season.
Denzel Washington’s time-travel thriller “Déjà Vu” took a typical tumble (from $29 million to $11 million) its second weekend, but it was still able to stave off the newly released “The Nativity Story” ($8 million). That single-digit opening for the retelling of the Biblical story might be considered a disappointment to some who were waiting to see if the film could capitalize on the phenomenon that was “The Passion of the Christ” back in 2004 (see “God On Film: Religious-Themed Flicks Like ‘Nativity’ Trek To Theaters” ). You probably shouldn’t make plans to see “Sodom and Gomorrah: The Movie” just yet.
“The Nativity Story” wasn’t the only newcomer at the multiplex over the weekend, but it was the only one to break into the top five. “Hostel” wannabe “Turistas” earned only $3.5 million in receipts. And “Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj” did not live up to its title. Perhaps they should have tried “Van Wilder: Straight to DVD.”
How’d We Do
Good golly, I love those penguins! Three weeks of “Happy Feet” dominance at the box office has equaled three straight wins for this giddy editor (see “Projection Booth: Can ‘Nativity’ Top Perky Penguins? God Only Knows …” ). MTV News writer Larry Carroll continues to mutter expletives under his breath at those adorable little buggers from the north. And sadly for celebrity contributor Ahmet Zappa, “The Nativity Story” didn’t click like he thought it might. Here’s hoping he has better luck with his forthcoming script for “Fraggle Rock.”
Prognosticator (Weeks Won)
Josh Horowitz, MTV Movies editor (3)
Larry Carroll, MTV News writer (2)
Celebrity guest (1)
If you thought, “Haven’t I seen this before?” after watching Denzel Washington in “Déjà Vu,” you could be forgiven. Washington is no stranger to thrillers like director Tony Scott’s latest. Here’s a look at how his last five action-packed genre flicks fared at the box office.
» “Inside Man” (2006) $88.5 million
» “The Manchurian Candidate” (2004) $65.9 million
» “Man on Fire” (2004) $77.9 million
» “Out of Time” (2003) $41 million
» “Training Day” (2001) $76 million
Can Mel Gibson’s “Apocalypto” translate into Mel Gibson’s box-office #1? He’s hoping audiences are ready for the first subtitled Mayan action movie. Hey, they liked that last little film he did. Meanwhile Leonardo DiCaprio will try to draw in the crowds with “Blood Diamond,” the least favorite film of the holiday season for execs at De Beers and Tiffany. And speaking of the holidays, there’s a romantic comedy coming at you this week by way of Cameron Diaz and Jude Law called “The Holiday.” Now wouldn’t you like to meet one of them under the mistletoe?
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