Archive for the ‘The Day The Earth Stood Still’ Category

DVD Sales: The Spirit Tops A Weak Chart In The Post-Easter Frame

April 29, 2009

As always, here are my notes on the latest DVD Sales Chart from The-Numbers:

-Maybe because it was the week right after Easter, repenting buyers felt convicted that they needed more of the spirit in their lives, and they mistakenly purchased Lionsgate’s disastrous 300 ripoff The Spirit, thinking it could help them. Whatever the reason, The Spirit benefited from a complete lack of competition, and somehow scored a number one debut. Granted, its $6.3 million first week is the weakest total Ive seen in a long time, and it will plummet next weekend. Still, with enough time in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart, I’m sure The Spirit‘s DVD sales will surpass its abysmal $19 million total box office.

Twilight continues its shockingly amazing run on the home market, with another $5.5 million this week, for a $133 million total. Having already sold a stunning 7.4 million copies of Twilight on DVD, Summit Entertainment has to be feeling pretty good about the upcoming sequel, New Moon, which debuts this Winter.

-Warner Brothers has to be disappointed with the lackluster performance of Yes Man on DVD. Just $13 million after two weeks of release is extremely bad for a Jim Carrey comedy that earned $90 million during its theatrical run.

-Just as the Easter frame was kind to family films last week, the post-Easter frame was equally harsh to these same titles. Marley And Me, Bolt, The Tale Of Despereaux, Bedtime Stories, and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa all saw sizable drops of 62-88%.

-Speaking of Bolt, I thought I should point out that after four weeks, the animated pooch film has $53 million in the kitty (or would doghouse be more appropriate, here?), and it’s been a solid performer on DVD for Disney.

-I’m somewhat ambivalent about the home market performance of two Oscar-winning films. First off, The Reader‘s $4.5 million opening week is nothing to cry about, but its nothing special either. Second, Slumdog Millionaire‘s $20 million after three weeks feels quite low to me, especially after its rosy $141 million box office. I think it probably came out on DVD too soon after its theatrical run. After three straight months of deafening buzz during awards season, every person that was going to be persuaded to see Slumdog already did, so the quick release date after it won its obligatory Oscar may have backfired for Fox Searchlight.

See the full chart after the jump:

Top 30 Selling DVDs for the Week Ending April 19, 2009
Rank Title Units this Week % Change Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Weeks in Release
1 Spirit, The 334,298 -.-% 334,298 $6,268,088 $6,268,088 1
2 Twilight 296,188 -28.6% 7,382,885 $5,538,716 $133,501,184 4
3 Day the Earth Stood Still, The 292,678 -66.9% 1,176,061 $5,179,493 $19,829,870 2
4 Bedtime Stories 280,209 -80.8% 1,963,618 $4,788,940 $33,568,422 2
5 Marley and Me 269,378 -62.9% 2,520,919 $4,628,857 $45,442,103 3
6 Yes Man 247,648 -53.4% 779,579 $4,321,680 $13,523,714 2
7 Reader, The 234,376 -.-% 234,376 $4,542,207 $4,542,207 1
8 Bolt 194,328 -73.3% 3,034,363 $3,515,899 $53,966,384 4
9 Tale of Despereaux, The 157,622 -72.7% 734,892 $2,677,998 $12,485,815 2
10 Slumdog Millionaire 154,580 -43.4% 1,270,027 $2,493,375 $20,834,683 3
11 Doubt 134,488 -47.9% 392,775 $2,419,439 $6,991,119 2
12 Seven Pounds 130,075 -41.7% 859,188 $2,154,042 $14,587,218 3
13 Quantum of Solace 123,256 -27.5% 1,876,092 $2,131,959 $33,515,945 4
14 Not Easily Broken 93,838 -56.9% 311,466 $1,594,308 $5,851,111 2
15 Beverly Hills Chihuahua 86,483 -64.0% 2,855,178 $1,382,863 $49,136,150 7
16 Stuart Little 75,855 -9.7% $578,774 470
17 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa 60,742 -88.7% 5,744,631 $763,412 $87,950,809 11
18 Role Models 60,541 -42.2% 1,648,990 $1,028,592 $28,016,340 6
19 High School Musical 3: Senior Year 56,864 -74.8% 2,971,273 $1,064,653 $53,175,812 9
20 Pinocchio 54,357 -69.2% $923,525 495
21 Australia 52,217 -39.7% 1,354,212 $887,167 $22,829,054 7
22 Mamma Mia! 51,786 -.-% 5,957,687 $665,921 $125,254,362 18
23 Fireproof 49,236 -.-% 1,520,956 $766,112 $26,191,317 12
24 40-Year-Old Virgin, The 46,534 -.-% $474,456 175
25 Tigger and Pooh and a Musical Too 44,495 -71.6% 201,135 $844,960 $3,819,554 2
26 Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword 35,335 -63.1% 131,132 $494,337 $1,834,537 2
27 Milk 34,748 -33.6% 494,538 $607,743 $8,827,310 6
28 Punisher: War Zone, The 34,419 -32.6% 398,065 $668,235 $7,525,557 5
29 Transporter 3 33,396 -35.8% 1,011,642 $573,793 $18,041,585 6
30 Cadillac Records 29,675 -26.0% 310,751 $504,178 $5,927,887 6

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DVD Sales: Bedtime Stories Hops Atop An Easter-Fueled Chart

April 23, 2009

Here’s the latest DVD Sales Chart from The-Numbers for the week ending April 12th. I’ve added my notes below:

-I was wrong about Bedtime Stories bombing last week on DVD. It looks like it just hit stores a day early, and it registered on the chart as having a poor debut. The reality of the situation is actually much rosier, though, and Bedtime Stories has accrued a solid $28 million over eight days. Not bad for the disappointing Disney/Adam Sandler collaboration that struggled to pass $100 million.

The Day The Earth Stood Still? More like The Day The DVDs Stood Still. It’s not that the Keanu Reeves sci-fi remake bombed with its $14 million debut, but when you factor in the fanboy effect, this is really not a great start on the home market for the Fox film, which also underwhelmed this fall, barely making it to $79 million despite huge buzz.

-Wow. The week of Easter is a great time to be a family film on DVD. Look at the giant boosts that the holiday offered all family-oriented films. A 16% increase for Bolt! A 117% increase for Beverly Hills Chihuahua! A 218% increase for High School Musical 3! A 300% increase for Kung Fu Panda! Pretty impressive stuff. The family effect also helped out The Tale Of Despereaux moderately, as it found a humble $9.8 in its first week on DVD, which is onl $300,000 less than it earned in its opening weekend.

Top 30 Selling DVDs for the Week Ending April 12, 2009
Rank Title Units this Week % Change Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Weeks in Release
1 Bedtime Stories 1,462,555 562.2% 1,683,409 $25,005,595 $28,779,482 1
2 Day the Earth
Stood Still, The
883,383 -.-% 883,383 $14,650,377 $14,650,377 1
3 Bolt 729,084 16.6% 2,840,035 $13,244,030 $50,450,485 3
4 Marley and Me 726,305 -52.4% 2,251,541 $12,581,128 $40,813,246 2
5 Tale of
Despereaux, The
577,270 -.-% 577,270 $9,807,817 $9,807,817 1
6 Madagascar: Escape
2 Africa
537,196 173.7% 5,683,889 $4,981,795 $87,187,398 10
7 Yes Man 531,931 -.-% 531,931 $9,202,034 $9,202,034 1
8 Twilight 414,927 -35.6% 7,086,697 $8,057,882 $127,962,468 3
9 Slumdog Millionaire 273,059 -67.6% 1,115,447 $4,172,342 $18,341,308 2
10 Doubt 258,287 -.-% 258,287 $4,571,680 $4,571,680 1
11 Beverly Hills
Chihuahua
240,151 117.2% 2,768,695 $3,840,014 $47,753,286 6
12 High School Musical
3: Senior Year
225,526 218.0% 2,914,409 $4,053,153 $52,111,158 8
13 Seven Pounds 223,040 -55.9% 729,113 $3,789,450 $12,433,176 2
14 Not Easily Broken 217,628 -.-% 217,628 $4,256,804 $4,256,804 1
15 Kung Fu Panda 207,978 300.5% 8,332,557 $1,904,392 $126,522,601 22
16 Pinocchio 176,530 76.2% $2,999,245 494
17 Quantum of Solace 169,949 -54.1% 1,752,836 $2,962,636 $31,383,986 3
18 Tigger and Pooh
and a Musical Too
156,640 -.-% 156,640 $2,974,594 $2,974,594 1
19 Madagascar 156,493 274.5% $1,719,858 178
20 Bee Movie 109,838 -.-% 4,836,258 $908,481 $76,570,787 57
21 Role Models 104,719 28.6% 1,588,449 $1,779,176 $26,987,749 5
22 Shrek the Third 98,869 -.-% 11,578,058 $874,269 $173,439,755 74
23 Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword 95,797 -.-% 95,797 $1,340,200 $1,340,200 1
24 Australia 86,634 16.9% 1,301,995 $1,471,912 $21,941,887 6
25 Stuart Little 83,962 76.4% $712,837 469
26 WALL-E 80,148 121.9% 8,623,786 $1,297,372 $136,193,424 21
27 Milk 52,303 14.3% 459,790 $914,779 $8,219,568 5
28 Transporter 3 52,004 -6.3% 978,246 $893,117 $17,467,792 5
29 Punisher: War
Zone, The
51,054 14.6% 363,646 $1,003,553 $6,857,322 4
30 Cadillac Records 40,087 1.6% 281,076 $801,339 $5,423,709 5

Weekend Fix: Audiences Say "Eh" Instead of "Yes" To New Releases

December 21, 2008

In the final frame before Christmas this year, the box office was in sorry shape. With a lackluster slate of new releases that failed to take full advantage of the holiday, and snow storms across the Northeast, the Top 12 raked in just $82 million, down a whopping 45% from the same weekend a year ago. Yes Man topped the charts, with Seven Pounds and The Tale Of Despereaux following in second and third, but all three of the new releases failed to really break out.

Jim Carrey’s antic-laden comedy, Yes Man, earned $18 million this weekend at the multiplex. Considering 2007 saw National Treasure: Book of Secrets debut to $44 million during the same weekend last December, this is not a great result. With poor reviews and a tired concept, Yes Man failed to provide audiences with something new, and it paid the price. Yes Man looked like a 1990’s comedy, and with its underwhelming debut, people made it very clear that they currently prefer the Apatow-style of comedy, which is fast-paced and raunchy, but soulful. The Warner Brothers release had a $5,288 per theater average, which is mediocre for a new release, but all is not lost for Yes Man. The silver lining here is that we are in late December, where every day acts like a weekend day, so the comedy should be leggier than most, but this still has to be a disappointment for both the studio and Carrey, who needs to pursue more dramatic roles, like in The Truman Show or Eternal Sunshine and the Spotless Mind. Personally, I’m excited for his role in 2010’s Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!

Seven Pounds, the Sony-produced Will Smith drama, sputtered out of the gates, earning just $16 million in its first three days. Earning an alright $5,801 per theater, Seven Pounds actually had the highest venue average in the Top 12, which shows how weak the frame was overall. The big problem here was in the advertising. From the trailer and commercials, it was almost impossible to figure out what this movie was about, which is never a good strategy for promoting a film. The bad reviews didn’t help things, either. The real loser in this equation, though, has got to be Will Smith, who was hoping for his 9th $100 million earner with Seven Pounds. Up until this point, Smith was untouchable among stars. Unfortunately, with a $16 million dollar opening, this probably won’t stick around nearly as long as December 2006’s The Pursuit of Happyness ($163 million finish) or December 2007’s I Am Legend ($256 million finish). It could be that Smith’s recent donations to the Church of Scientology (oxymoron?) are having a Tom Cruise Effect on his career. All I have to say is, “Don’t become crazy, Will!”

The final new release this weekend was The Tale Of Despereaux, which opened to $10.5 million. The Universal film about a gallant mouse got middling reviews, and proved for the umpteenth time that releasing an animated movie is a task best left to Dreamworks or Disney. It seems like whenever a studio (that is not Pixar) tries to release a detailed, realistic-looking animated film, it doesn’t work out at the box office. Films like Ice Age, Madagascar, or Open Season, which have zanier, exaggerated animation, tend to do better. Despereaux had a disappointing per theater average of $3,810, and I fully expect it to get left in the dust when Disney’s Bedtime Stories debuts on Christmas Day.

Among holdovers, drops were a bit steeper than expected, mostly due to the snow storms across the Northeast (and as someone who was in Connecticut during the snow storms, I can attest: there was a lot of snow). Fox’s sci-fi actioner, The Day The Earth Stood Still, nosedived 67% this weekend, earning $10 million for a $48.6 million total. This is yet another case of The Fanboy Effect. Warner Brothers’ well-performing Four Christmases fell 41% to $7.7 million as it crossed the $100 million mark, while Summit’s Twilight continued to show it’s resilience, as it’s 34% drop was the smallest in the Top 12. It earned an additional $5.2 million for a fantastic $158.4 million total.

Disney’s Bolt fell 43% to $4.3 million, as it inches its way closer to the $100 million plateau. The animated dog feature has performed admirably over the past few weeks, and it currently sits with $95 million. Not so lucky was Fox’s Australia, the overblown epic starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. Down 44% to $2.3 million, the insanely expensive Baz Luhrmann film has a disappointing total of just $41 million. At the bottom tier of the Top 12, Quantum of Solace fell 42% to $2.1 million, Milk dropped 37% to $1.6 million, and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa declined 53% to $1.5 million. Totals are $161.3 million, $10.3 million, and $172.3 million, respectively.

Up above, I skipped over the one real bright spot of the weekend: Slumdog Millionaire. The Fox Searchlight feature, which audiences and critics are loving, expanded into 589 theaters and earned $3.2 million over the weekend. This was good for a venue average of $5,388, the second-best in the Top 12. The most palatable of this year’s Oscar bait, Slumdog Millionaire has already earned $12 million, and with many awards on the way, look for the Danny Boyle film to keep chugging right along for the next few weeks.

Next weekend brings us seven new wide releases: Amusement, Bedtime Stories, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Marley and Me, Revolutionary Road, Spirit, and Valkyrie. These releases should bring a much-needed dose of flavor to the movies, which will hopefully redeem the performances this weekend. Regardless, with that many new films, things should be interesting… Here’s the chart:

Top 12 for December 19-21

# Movie Title Weekend Gross Total
1 Yes Man $18,160,000 $18,160,000
2 Seven Pounds $16,000,000 $16,000,000
3 The Tale of Despereaux $10,507,040 $10,507,040
4 The Day The Earth Stood Still $10,150,000 $48,626,884
5 Four Christmases $7,745,000 $100,154,000
6 Twilight $5,227,000 $158,460,899
7 Bolt $4,256,000 $95,009,000
8 Slumdog Millionaire $3,150,000 $12,133,750
9 Australia $2,325,000 $41,947,337
10 Quantum Of Solace $2,150,000 $161,290,000
11 Milk $1,641,290 $10,322,173
12 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa $1,510,000 $173,332,000

All Numbers Courtesy of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

What do you think of this weekend’s box office? What went wrong? Do you think things will pick up next weekend? Write your answers in the comments!

Friday Estimates: I Got It Right(ish)!

December 20, 2008

I’m going to gloat a little bit. I was pretty darn close in my predictions for the weekend (except for Despereaux…), and I’m a little bit proud of myself. Take that Entertainment Weekly! Look’s like my little operation here at The Box Office Junkie was a heck of a lot more accurate than yours! To be fair, though, everyone everywhere overestimated. Bragging aside, it’s looking like Yes Man will take in about $18 million, Seven Pounds may find $16 million, and The Tale of Despereaux $11 million. Here are numbers for Friday:

Friday Estimates for December 19
1. Yes Man – $6.5 million
2. Seven Pounds – $5.3 million
3. The Tale Of Despereaux – $3.5 million
4. The Day The Earth Stood Still – $2.9 million
5. Four Christmases – $2.3 million
6. Twilight – $1.6 million
7. Bolt – $1 million
8. Slumdog Millionaire – $755,000
9. Austrailia – $625,000
10. Quantum Of Solace – $565,000
11. Milk – $425,000
12. Nothing Like The Holidays – $360,000

Weekend Preview: Jim Carrey vs. Will Smith In A Bipolar Box Office Frame

December 18, 2008

This weekend, the holiday season is officially here, and studios are hoping that with kids out of school, and parents off from work, the movies can rake in some serious cash. Timing wise, there’s no better space on the calendar to take advantage of the public’s holiday freedom. Last year, we had National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Enchanted, and I Am Legend all riding very high on their way to profitability So here’s my question: On one of the biggest weekends of the entire year, is this really the best Hollywood could do? Opening this Friday, we have the Jim Carrey screwball comedy, Yes Man, the Will Smith sobfest, Seven Pounds, and another CG animated film, The Tale Of Despereaux. Really, the battle is between Yes Man and Seven Pounds, as this weekend’s main offerings hit the two extremes of mainstream movie tastes. Although both films are headlined by established box office stars, thematically, they couldn’t be more different.

Warner Brothers’ Yes Man sees Jim Carrey in the kind of role that made him famous. That means over-the-top, exaggerated facial gestures, crazy voices, and general absurdity to boot. Yes Man is about a man who only says, “Yes,” and the way that that liberating mentality eventually becomes a hindrance. Sound familiar? Liar, Liar comes to mind… I’m not sure that audiences still love this version of Jim Carrey. His work in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Truman Show showed he’s a versatile actor, but after straying a bit too far from his own persona in this years awful The Number 23, perhaps Carrey wanted to get back to his initial bread n’ butter. In the last few years, however, comedies have become much more fast-paced, quick-witted affairs, with snappy dialogue and wry humor. I don’t know that Ace Ventura would necessarily work in today’s marketplace, and that’s the problem with Yes Man. It doesn’t seem fresh; it seems like a retread. The reviews aren’t great at all, but it does stand out amongst all the Oscar dreck, and the lighthearted Jim Carrey film should find an audience. Opening in 3,434 theaters, look for Yes Man to pull in $18 million.

On the other side of the spectrum is Sony’s Seven Pounds, a dramatic film starring Will Smith and Rosario Dawson that hopes to capture the same success as 2006’s The Pursuit of Happyness. The subject of this film has been exceedingly difficult to gather from the advertisements, which work hard to sell the film on Will Smith, rather than the convoluted premise. The official synopsis reads: “In the film, Smith plays Ben Thomas, an IRS agent with a fateful secret who embarks on an extraordinary journey of redemption by forever changing the lives of seven strangers.” Not giving audiences a clear idea of the story is never a good idea, and I think Seven Pounds will ultimately pay for that. Still, Will Smith is a proven draw at the box office, and I expect that his latest inspirational drama will manage to pull in solid crowds throughout the holiday season. But Seven Pounds is not going over to well with critics, which diminishes much of its long term potential, and the story doesn’t look particularly uplifting- just very dour. I don’t see this matching The Pursuit of Happyness‘ $163 million run, and maybe not even The Bucket List‘s (a similarly-schmaltzy film) $93 million. Will Smith’s name will draw in viewers, though, and from 2,758 theaters, Seven Pounds might earn $17 million as well.

The final new wide release this weekend is Universal’s The Tale Of Despereaux, a computer-generated animated film about a heroic mouse’s adventures. I’m going to be frank. As long as the world is spoiled by the perfection that is Pixar, all other animated films will simply pale in comparison, both in the visuals and in the story. Despereaux doesn’t look to have too much going for it, other than being cute, but very few people know about the source material, and reviews are bad. Debuting in 3,104 theaters, I’m only seeing a $6 million weekend. Let’s just hope it doesn’t pull a Delgo

I know I must sound terribly Scrooge-like today, but I have to wonder how this weekend’s slate ended up at this. None of these films is a surefire, family-friendly tentpole release. I just cant wrap my mind around why Disney didn’t bump Bedtime Stories up to this weekend, or maybe they could have waited to release High School Musical 3 in December, so they could cash in on this lucrative season. I guess it’s no use crying over spilled egg nog, though, so I digress. Holdovers should be relatively soft, though former chart-topper The Day The Earth Stood Still might nonetheless see a 50% drop. Four Christmases should do well, and other family films should have the smallest drops in the Top 12. Also of note, Oscar-lock Slumdog Millionaire expands into 589 theaters this weekend, and it should find some success in doing so. Here are my predictions for the frame:

Predicted Top 12 For December 19-21
1. Yes Man – $18 million
2. Seven Pounds – $17 million
3. The Day The Earth Stood Still – $14 million
4. Four Christmases – $10 million
5. The Tale Of Despereaux – $6 million
6. Bolt – $5.7 million
7. Twilight – $5.5 million
8. Slumdog Millionaire – $3.3 million
9. Australia – $2.8 million
10. Quantum Of Solace – $2.6 million
11. Milk – $2.6 million
12. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa – $2.1 million

What about you? What are your predictions?

Weekend Fix: The Day The Earth Stood Still Leads, Four Christmases Holds, And Delgo Is Nowhere To Be Found

December 14, 2008

It was a slow weekend at the box office this week, and without powerhouse openers like I Am Legend and Alvin and The Chipmunks, the Top 12 Films grossed an estimated $83,309,552, down a hefty 45% from last year’s Top 12. The Day The Earth Stood Still was a victim of high expectations, while Nothing Like The Holidays simply peformed poorly, and Delgo flopped hard (it only earned $915,840).

The real stars of the frame were holdovers Four Christmases, Twilight, and Bolt, which dropped 21%, 39%, and 23%, respectively. And despite the relatively small weekend, I’m optimistic about the remainder of the holiday season; after all, Will Smith and Adam Sandler (the two most consistent draws in Hollywood) are on their way! Here are the weekend’s results:


Top 12 Actuals for December 12-14

# Movie Title Weekend Gross Total
1 The Day The Earth Stood Still $30,480,153 $30,480,153
2 Four Christmases $13,074,470 $87,775,974
3 Twilight $7,951,131 $150,045,826
4 Bolt $7,464,282 $88,849,005
5 Australia $4,169,277 $37,767,253
6 Quantum of Solace $3,715,522 $157,583,232
7 Nothing Like The Holidays $3,531,664 $3,531,664
8 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa $3,181,231 $169,937,394
9 Milk $2,598,638 $7,590,976
10 Transporter 3 $2,351,229 $29,377,088
11 Slumdog MIllionaire $2,175,518 $8,048,764
12 Cadillac Records $1,585,407 $5,909,492

All Numbers Courtesy of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

Friday Estimates: Keanu Reeves Is Not Will Smith, And Delgo Crashes And Burns.

December 13, 2008

Wow. There’s not much good news to report about this Friday’s numbers. The Day The Earth Stood Still had an alright first day of $12.2 million. Since fanboys probably make up a large percentage of that audience, I’m not foreseeing a great multiplier here. Give the Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly starrer $32 million for the weekend. Nothing Like The Holidays, a family Christmas movie starring Debra Messing, Alfred Molina, and Freddy Rodriguez (among others) had a first day of $1.2 million, which should give it about $4 million for the weekend. And then there was Delgo… In all my years of researching the box office, I don’t know if I can remember a movie doing this poorly… not even Hoot). Delgo had a pitiful first day of just $130,000, good for a venue average of only $60!!! That result is so bad, I don’t even know how to articulate it to you all. Here are the rest of the results:

Friday numbers for December 12, 2008:
1. The Day The Earth Stood Still – $12.2 million
2. Four Christmases – $4.2 million
3. Twilight – $2.7 million
4. Bolt – $1.7 million
5. Australia – $1.3 million
6. Nothing Like The Holidays – $1.2 million
7. Quantum of Solace – $1.1 million
8. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa – $710,000
9. Milk – $710,000
10. Transporter 3 – $660,000
11. Slumdog Millionaire – $560,000
12. Role Models – $50,000
— Delgo – $130,000

What do you all think of these results?

Weekend Preview: Will The Day The Earth Stood Still Be I Am Legend v. 2.0?

December 12, 2008

This weekend we get a special-effects-driven sci-fi remake starring Keanu Reeves (The Day The Earth Stood Still), a Christmas dramedy (Home For The Holidays), and an ill-conceived computer animation film about an alienish monster (Delgo). Overall, the box office should remain in decent shape, with TDTESS on top and holdovers doing most of the heavy lifting.

This year it seems like each of the opening films is trying to be 2008’s version of other formerly successful December titles. The Day The Earth Stood Still is trying to be 2008’s I Am Legend. A little bit less ambitious, Nothing Like The Holidays is hoping to find the success of 2006’s The Family Stone. And Delgo would settle for even a scrap of Happy Feet or Alvin and the Chipmunks‘ receipts. But will any of these films achieve the heights of their predecessors? Probably not.

Here’s the forecast for the weekend of December 12-14, 2008:

1. The Day The Earth Stood Still – $49 million
2. Four Christmases – $12.1 million
3. Twilight – $7.3 million
4. Bolt – $7 million
5. Nothing Like The Holidays – $6.8 million
6. Australia – $4.3 million
7. Delgo – $4.2 million
8. Quantum of Solace – $3.9 million
9. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa – $3.3 million
10. Transporter 3 – $2.8 million
11. Milk – $2.4 million
12. Punisher: War Zone – $2.2 million
13. Cadillac Records – $2.2 million
14. Slumdog Millionaire – $1.9 million