Monday Morning Box Office: American Moviegoers Still Love Comedians In Fat Suits!

Rouse yourself from your Monday morning nap long enough to take a quick tour of the weekend's box office numbers:

1. Norbit—$33.740 million
With Norbit's box office success sure to intensify the unwanted spotlight on the Academy voters' "Should we give the guy in the fat suit an Oscar?" dilemma, a DreamWorks marketing executive had to quickly remind people that when Murphy buries himself in latex, he's showing his versatility, not degrading his craft, telling the LAT: "It's amazing how Eddie can put in a dramatic and creative performance in 'Dreamgirls,' then turn around and attract audiences in a piece of entertainment like Norbit that's pure comedy." It remains to be seen if Murphy's peers will recite the mantra "It's just pure comedy," to suppress the gag reflex triggered by visualizing his "audience-attracting" Rasputia character long enough to check off his name on their ballots.

2. Hannibal Rising—$13.350 million
A sobering thought for plans for future installments of the diminished Hannibal franchise: Even Brett Ratner squeezed $36 million out of his Lecter movie on opening weekend.

3. Because I Said So—$9.041 million
More proof that Because I Said So is just an elaborate hoax? Mandy Moore appeared as a presenter on the Grammys last night and didn't even work in a clumsy plug for the "movie" during her time on stage.

4. The Messengers—$7.2 million
A quick review of the IMDbs reveals that both Dylan McDermott and John Corbett are in this movie. Oh, how far TV's hunkiest hunks have fallen! Or, to look at the bright side, at least the men of Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy know they'll be able to get work in low-budget horror flicks once their shows go off the air.

5. Night at the Museum—$5.750 million
Good news: This is probably the last week we'll have to see NATM in the top five. Probably.