Rainy days and Mondays got you down? Buck up your holiday mood with a bit of apocalyptic egg nog we like to call Monday Morning Box Office:
1. The Day the Earth Stood Still - $31 million
Fox's $80 million remake of the 1951 sci-fi classic opened soft despite everything going for it: suit-and-tied Reeves lurching around a planet he's about to destroy; Jennifer Connelly as a product-placement-friendly microbiologist; video-game grade CGI; and a surplus of outraged critics. If only the studio had tried its Marley & Me spoiler experiment with DTESS's campaign instead — graffitied billboards bearing text along the lines of "WE'RE FUCKED," or "FUNNIER THAN FOUR CHRISTMASES." It's not too late for week two, guys!
2. Four Christmases - $13.3 million
The Witherspoon/Vaughn comedy could break $100 million by the end of next weekend, thus necessitating fast-tracked sequel negotiations to which director Seth Gordon will respond with apprehension, ultimately departing the project and leaving the door open for Chris Weitz to make Five Christmases and Six Christmases simultaneously for '09 and '10 release dates.
3. Twilight - $8 million
Speaking of whom, the little-known "Weitz Bump" made Twilight fans out of millions of otherwise ambivalent moviegoers, whose eagerness to see what raw material their favorite director inherited last week kept the teen-vampire romance to a respectable 39% drop.
4. Bolt - $7.5 million
Itself having shaken off the stigma of its own vandalized posters suggesting the titular hero is voiced by John Travolta, the Disney film also demonstrated admirable box-office stamina in its fourth week.
5. Australia - $4.3 million
Hugh Jackman's selection as Oscar host did little for his epic, whose continued underperformance at the box office and among awards voters virtually assures its position as his first joke's punchline at next year's awardscast.