As Hollywood tries to shake off another lackluster set of box office performances and limps towards a more promising frame, praying that some animated chipmunks and Will Smith will save the studios from this malaise before Christmas arrives, have a look at the weekend's disappointing numbers:
1. The Golden Compass - $26.125 million
New Line, it seems, had overestimated America's appetite for armored polar bears and terrifyingly waxen villainesses with Botox-impaired abilities to emote, getting just a $26 million opening weekend return on an investment pushing $200 million.
The studio was quick to let everyone know that Compass did pull in $55 million overseas, a result that somewhat mutes the deafening sound of the box office bomb just detonated in domestic multiplexes.
2. Enchanted - $10.706 million
We wouldn't mind seeing Disney remake a selection of their animated classics aimed at adults with Enchanted revelation Amy Adams; in Adams' hands, Cinderella and company could finally reach the deranged potential the studio's psychotically optimistic heroines have been denied by a need not to disturb family audiences with a frank depiction of mental illness.
3. This Christmas - $5 million
4. Fred Claus - $4.660 million
If these two holiday movies or next weekend's The Perfect Holiday don't satisfy all your Yuletide needs, you're pretty much shit out of luck, unless National Treasure II and P.S. I Love You are your idea of Christmassy entertainments.
5. Beowulf - $4.4 million
As Beowulf finally slides out of the top five, we are officially released from having to joke about the digital lipo-scultping done on Ray Winstone's midsection.