Weekend Box Office

1) Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer $57 million

2) Ocean's Thirteen $19 Million

Related: Joker Has Biggest October Opening Ever with $93M Box Office Haul

3) Knocked Up $14 million

4) Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End $12 million

5) Surf's Up $9.3 million

6) Shrek the Third $9 million

7) Nancy Drew $7.1 million

8) Hostel: Part II $3 million

9) Mr. Brooks $2.8 million

10) Spider-Man 3 $2.5 million

It was surreal going to the drive-in this weekend. Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer was playing on a double bill with Ghost Rider. And on the next screen over, in plain sight, was Spider-Man 3. If I had of been twelve and still collecting Marvel comics, I would have been in some sort of weird fanboy heaven. Back in the 80s, I never would have imagined that all of these Marvel comics would be playing out on a big screen. Especially all at one time, in one place. It was quite an awesome sight.

There was a lot of hubbub about Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer on the net this week. Apparently the all-media screenings were a circus. Someone even got punched in the face. There were some bad critical vibes stemming from this whole ordeal. But that didn't seem to affect the average moviegoer's opinion at all. They still went in droves this weekend. This was in no doubt thanks to the inclusion of the Silver Surfer. The family four managed to pull $57 million dollars out of the stratosphere. Not the record breaking take of Spider-Man 3, for sure. But for having a first movie that was critically panned by fans and reviewers alike, $57 million was a small godsend for this comic turned celluloid. And it means we'll get more Fantastic Four in the future.

The weekend's only other major new contender didn't fare so well. Nancy Drew only managed to creep into the seventh place spot with $7.1 million. Despite a strong fan base of young girls and lecherous forty-year-olds still carrying a torch for Pamela Sue Martin, Nancy failed to solve the mystery of the record breaking box office weekend. This one is more suited for the video graveyard, anyway. Don't worry about Julia Roberts's niece, Emma, who stars in the flick. It will probably earn its money back playing in heavy rotation on Starz, ensuring at least a direct-to-video sequel.

Ocean's Thirteen kept the ladies coming, dropping itself into second place with a nice little purse of about $19 million. Knocked Up is also proving its pregnant weight this summer, staying in the top three for the third straight week in a row. It added another $14 million to its piggy bank, bringing its total to a nice $90 million. It will have no problem breaking the $100 million mark by the end of the month.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is also holding steady, one again appearing in the top five for the 4th consecutive week. It nabbed another $12 million, which puts its total at $273 million. In at fifth place is Surf's Up, with $9.3 million. While not an instant hit, it seems to be hanging on in the wake of the other family films that have come its way.

Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer doesn't face much of a threat next weekend. There are only two major releases and they are playing to a whole different crowd. Evan Almighty is going to try and earn back some of its mammoth price tag, while the ghost thriller 1408 is going to attempt to scare up some billage. It should be a pretty close, fun fight to watch play out.

B. Alan Orange