Studios found no happy surprises beneath the Chrismukkah bush today, as snowed-in audiences opted out of Will Smith's messianic broodiness and Jim Carrey saying "yes" more times than Tara Reid at the Promises buffet line.
1. Yes Man - $18.16 million
It's rarer and rarer that we can call Jim Carrey the Biggest Star in the World, so let's savor this moment—granted a $10 million-lighter moment than we had predicted—and consider it a step in the right direction. Two years ago at this time, another forgettable Carrey comedy, Fun with Dick and Jane, opened to $4 million less, eventually earning $110.3 million domestically. With a little luck, this plucky little audience-pleaser could outdo even that, and before long Carrey will be rechristened Hollywood's Set-Terrorizing Jester King, urinating on child co-stars in improvised fits of actorly inspiration.
2. Seven Pounds - $16 million
As we had feared, Seven Pounds's challenging subject matter, and major newspaper reviews calling it the most "transcendently, eye-poppingly, call-your-friend-ranting-in-the-middle-of-the-night-just-to-go-over-it-one-more-time crazily awful motion pictures ever made," ultimately made it a hard sell. Still, some movies are just decades ahead of their time; something tells us that once society catches up to this rare Will Smith misfire, we'll realize just how in the dark ages Hollywood once was when it came to its big screen depictions of Jellyfish-Americans.
3. The Tale of Despereaux - $10.507 million
The CGI-shlock-making industry held its collective breath on the heels of Delgo's historic, Turds-font-popularizing box office flameout. But unlike that family film, audiences did not treat Despereaux screenings as if they were highly infectious, flesh-eating-contagion chambers, sparing this rodent fairy tale a place in the box office bed-shitting record books.
4. The Day the Earth Stood Still - $10.15 million
Plummeting 67% was this remake, largely accredited to poor word of mouth, as audiences who had hoped they'd be in store for some epic-scale sci-fi destruction instead wound up with two hours of Keanu Reeves on roller skates, sliding up to confused pedestrians and doing his best WALL-E impression.
5. Four Christmases - $7.745 million
This was it! The fourth Christmas. We pack this in the box now with the rest of those weird-smelling ornaments we made in the late '70s from that home-made dough recipe in the Zoom newsletter (are we dating ourselves?), and forget about it 'til next year.
- December 19–21, 2008 [Box Office Mojo]