"Claus" Disappoints..."Bee Movie" Claims Top Spot

Weekend box office estimates:

1. Bee Movie - $26,000,000
2. American Gangster - $24,319,000
3. Fred Claus - $19,225,000
4. Lions for Lambs - $6,710,000
5. Dan in Real Life - $5,872,000
6. Saw IV - $5,010,000
7. The Game Plan - $2,410,000
8. P2 - $2,200,000
9. 30 Days of Night - $2,100,000
10. Martian Child - $1,750,000

Source: Box Office Mojo

The family audience chose Seinfeld over Santa Claus this weekend as Bee Movie ascended to #1 at the box office in its second weekend, after being bested by Ridley Scott's American Gangster last weekend, which came in at #2. That's bad news for Warner Brothers' Fred Claus, which was expected to take the top spot this weekend, instead coming in at #3 behind last weekend's box office champs.

Robert Redford's excellent Lions for Lambs, debuted at #4 with only $6.7 million despite a cast that includes Redford, Meryl Streep, and Tom Cruise, partially due to inexplicably poor reviews and its Iraq/Afghanistan themes, which audiences have stayed away from in droves. Don't get me started on the fact that people are flocking to Bee Movie and letting a first rate think piece like Lions for Lambs die on the vine. That kind of apathy is exactly what the film is condemning...but it's falling on deaf ears. Although without question the best film in this week's top ten is American Gangster, which is still doing well.

This weekend's other wide release, P2, debuted as barely a blip on the radar, with a paltry $2.2 million gross.

However, the Coen Brothers' highly acclaimed No Country for Old Men opened on 28 screens and took in $1,202,000...that's a per screen average of $42,928, the highest of the weekend. It will definitely be one to watch when it goes wide on November 21.


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