Aliens are taking over! Keanu Reeves' The Day the Earth Stood Still may have gotten bad reviews, but it managed to debut at #1 with $31 mil, sliding the top 5 (Four Christmases, $88 mil, Twilight, $150 mil, Bolt, $89mil, Australia, $38mil, and Quantum of Solace, $158mil) down one slot. The Hispanic family film Nothing Like the Holidays came in at #7 with $3.5 mil. I would say that it's a travesty that more people weren't interested in seeing a cultural holiday film, but I did and it really wasn't that great. John Leguizamo has been funnier and even more dramatic, and it just wasn't as good as it should've been.
The other animated flick in the top 10, Madagascar 2 moved down to #8 with $170 mil, making stiff competition for the newbie, Delgo, which barely made the top 20 and didn't even clear a million bucks. Oscar-hopeful Milk had 200 more theaters added, putting it at #9 with almost $8 mil. And rounding out the top 10 is Transporter 3, which only lasted 3 weeks in the box office and grossed $29 mil. I do not forsee another sequel in the wings.
Meryl Streep's Doubt grossed $525,000 with a 15-theater release and managed to woo the critics, while Clint Eastwood's return to the big screen in Gran Torino grossed $284,000 with a 6-theater release and an even higher score on Rotten Tomatoes. In fact, it had the highest per theater gross of the weekend. The Reader, which didn't please very many of the top critics, grossed $182,000 with an 8-theater release, but Wendy and Lucy, which was critically worshipped, opened with $28,600 in a 2-theater release. And the little-indie-that-could Slumdog Millionaire, which got 90 more theaters added, climbed up one spot to #11 with $8 mil.
Next week, Will Smith will test his star-power with the heart-wrenching drama Seven Pounds, Mickey Rourke will learn whether or not he can manage a Robert Downey Jr.-esque resurrection with the much-buzzed about Wrestler, Jim Carrey will add some humor to the top 10 with Yes Man, and another animated film, The Tale of Despereaux, will tousle with a heroic dog and wild animals for the affection of children everywhere.