The Box-Office Top Five
#1 “Enchanted” ($50 million)
#2 “This Christmas” ($27.1 million)
#3 “Beowulf” ($23.3 million)
#4 “Hitman” ($21 million)
#5 “Bee Movie” ($15.9 million)
Sometimes, fairy tales do come true — and this weekend, $50 million worth of moviegoers made sure the Thanksgiving fantasies of Disney executives ended happily ever after. The live-action-meets-animation blockbuster “Enchanted” took audiences to fantasyland with its depiction of a fairytale princess (Amy Adams) gone back to the future, accompanied by a dastardly queen (Susan Sarandon) and a too-perfect prince (James Marsden). Mix in some love-interest lawyering by Patrick Dempsey, and audiences found the cast McDreamy. (“Enchanted” director Kevin Lima is already talking about a sequel, and Dempsey shared some of his not-so-Disney ideas for the follow-up with the MTV Movies Blog.)
But don’t be so quick to judge Chris Brown and his “This Christmas” family as mere silver medalists. By all accounts, the film cost a fraction of the “Enchanted” budget, and ticket sales have already more than doubled the movie’s production costs. On top of that, the singer-turned-leading-man’s heartwarming drama now supplants “Fred Claus” as the film most likely to enjoy the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas holiday stretch, or as we like to call it, “the Tim Allen Effect.”
Meanwhile, “Hitman” proved to be anything but, ma’am. Without help from John McClane, “Live Free or Die Hard” villain Timothy Olyphant showed that he dies quite easily, as video game’s fans couldn’t put down their controllers long enough to head out to the theater. Proving once again that it’s never a good idea to make a film whose entire plot can be summed up in a one-word title, “Hitman” was taken out by the complicated tale of CGI juggernaut “Beowulf,” in its second weekend.
The most notable box-office battle of this season, however, is barely in the top five: Four weeks after their initial showdown, the bee might finally be ready to overtake the O.G., as Jerry Seinfeld’s “Bee Movie” was up 14 percent, compared to a drop-off for “American Gangster.” Although the funnyman lost his opening weekend, his cartoon comedy now trails Denzel Washington by only $3 million and has momentum on its side.
Among other new releases, “August Rush” made mediocre music with a $13.3 million debut, while “The Mist” mystified everyone who gave the scary movie such good reviews, only finding $13 million worth of moviegoers who didn’t confuse it for a sequel to Tom Welling’s “The Fog.”
Despite a sleep-inducing ad campaign, Hayden Christensen and Jessica Alba hope to take advantage of a quiet weekend with “Awake,” a psychological thriller about a young man with a passing resemblance to Darth Vader, who experiences “anesthetic awareness” during his heart surgery. In limited release, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney and the phenomenal Philip Bosco leap into the awards-season fray with their Sundance fave, “The Savages,” and the masterful Julian Schnabel brings some Cannes drama with “The Diving Bell and The Butterfly.”
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