'Bee Movie' Stings 'American Gangster' For Box-Office Win

Tom Cruise breaks 20-year hot streak with disappointing 'Lions for Lambs' opening.

The Box-Office Top Five

#1 "Bee Movie" ($26 million)

#2 "American Gangster" ($24.3 million)

#3 "Fred Claus" ($19.2 million)

#4 "Lions for Lambs" ($6.7 million)

#5 "Dan in Real Life"($5.9 million)

Did you hear the one about Jerry Seinfeld's "Bee Movie"? Well, the CGI flick about a New York City bee who sues the human race was critically panned and opened at #2 behind "American Gangster." A week goes by, yadda, yadda, yadda ... and it somehow manages to climb to the top of the box office. Call it "Master of Its Domain" — we don't know how it won this contest either.

Falling just 31 percent, "Bee Movie" ended its second weekend with $26 million — and $72 million overall — narrowly edging out the $24.3 million earned by "American Gangster." Starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, "Gangster," the story of real-life drug dealer Frank Lucas, brought its domestic total up to $80.7 million.

Meanwhile, no, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus — at least for American audiences this past weekend. Both "Bee Movie" and "American Gangster" beat up on "Fred Claus," the story of St. Nick's rowdy older brother (Vince Vaughn), which debuted with only $19.2 million.

But even "Fred Claus" looked good compared to "Lions for Lambs," which was a lamb for the slaughter with a fourth-place finish and just $6.7 million. Not counting "Magnolia" and "Born on the Fourth of July" (which only opened in seven and five theaters, respectively), the last time a Tom Cruise movie opened this low ("The Color of Money" in 1986) Reagan was in the White House, Rubik's Cubes were all the rage and I was 5. Depending on how you look at Cruise's career, that's either one heck of a streak or one heck of a fall.

Among other new releases, "P2" opened in eighth place with $2.2 million, while "No Country for Old Men" positively astounded with $1.2 million from just 28 theaters.

Upcoming Releases

The oldest Anglo-Saxon poem finally gets its moment in the sun (and Angelina Jolie finally gets digitally naked), when "Beowulf" opens in 2,800 theaters. Made by Robert Zemeckis using advanced motion-capture technology, "Beowulf" is the first salvo in a new cinematic war fought to usher in a futuristic digital age. And just remember, sentient, digital warriors of the future — we were on your side from the beginning. Also opening in wide release is "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium," starring Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman as owners of an enchanted toy shop.

Check out everything we've got on "Bee Movie," "American Gangster" and "Fred Claus."

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