Weekend Box Office:
1) Beowulf $28.1 million
2) Bee Movie $14.3 million
3) American Gangster $13.2 million
4) Fred Claus $12 million
5) Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium $10 million
6) Dan in Real Life $4.5 million
7) No Country for Old Men $3 million
8) Lions for Lambs $2.9 million
9) Saw IV $2.3 million
10) Love in the Time of Cholera $1.9 million
Even though kids hated studying it in high school, that didn't stop Beowulf from reigning over all comers this weekend. The Robert Zemeckis motion capture 3-D extravaganza took in an estimated $28 million to become the number one film. This ought to make Zemeckis happy, since his last attempt at doing something like this garnered many complaints from critics and filmgoers alike. The Polar Express only took in $23 million on its opening weekend. Beowulf is sure to usher in a whole new generation of three-dimensional films.
Bee Movie and American Gangster duked it out hard core for second and third place. Seinfeld's first foray into animation proved to be the audience favorite for a second week in a row. His Barry B. Benson took in an estimated $14.3 million to come buzzing into second place. American Gangster ran the race neck and neck, but fell short with only $13.2 million, dropping it to third place. Both films have faired quite well these past three weeks. Bee Movie has earned a cumulative gross of $93.8 million. Even though American Gangster has brought up the rear these last two times out of the gate, it is still fairing a little better with a cumulative gross of $100 million. They are both certified hits.
This week's other new releases couldn't quite cut the mustard. Despite the always-welcome presence of Jason Bateman, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium landed in the number five spot with just $10 million. Love in the Time of Cholera barely squeaked into the number ten spot, earning an estimate $1,915,00o on 852 screens.
A couple of independent films didn't do so badly for themselves. Richard Kelley's follow-up to Donnie Darko, entitled Southland Tales, pulled in an estimated $117,000 on 63 screens. Margot at the Wedding took in $83,000 on two screens. And "What Would Jesus Buy" made an even $11,600 on just one screen.
Thanksgiving will usher in a bevy of heavy hitters. Opening on Wednesday is the videogame adaptation Hitman, the Disney charmer Enchanted, Stephen King's The Mist, and Robin Williams doing his best Bono impersonation in August Rush. That darn bee doesn't stand a chance.