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December 24, 2007 |

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | December 24, 2007 |

10. Juno: I drove four-hours round-trip to see a free screening Juno last week, got lost, spent a small fortune on gas, and had one of the worst sandwiches of my life at a coffee shop in fucking Rochester, NY. But you know what? It was totally worth it. It’s going wider tomorrow, so it may hit your town; and if not, it’ll be everywhere by the 4th. It absolutely lives up to both the hype and Dan’s brilliant review. At nearly $11,184, it also continues to have the best theater per average amongst all releases, beating the vanity release of Jessica Simpson’s Blonde Ambition by about $11,020 per screen. Weekend: $3.4 million; Total: $6.3 million (Blonde Ambition Total: $1,300!).

9. The Golden Compass: I expanded the box-office round-up to ten this week, just for you Golden Compass. Enjoy; it’s the last we’ll speak of you again. Weekend: $4 million; Total: $48 million.

8. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story: I wonder if being named number one on Entertainment Weekly’s Smartest People in Hollywood is like being on the cover of Madden? Cause, man: Judd Apatow got the rear-end, lubricant-free jinx. I think that Walk Hard is that movie everyone thought would do really well, but that no one actually wanted to see. Indeed, my Apatow credentials are pretty well known, but I just had no interest. None. I guess the Apatow backlash now begins:

Oh, and a note to a couple of our Walk Hard commenters over the weekend: We don’t like to censor here (and we rarely delete comments), but rape jokes are off limits. I hope to God that’s not an invitation for some of you — you don’t want us to sic B-Slim on you. He will eat you alive — trust me. I’m missing half an ass cheek. $4.1 million.

7. Enchanted: Oh, hi. You’re still here? Weekend: $4.1 million; Total: $99 million.

6. P.S. I Love You: I’m not going to bother with the transgender joke here; it’s too easy. But, c’mon: Who came up with the brilliant idea to make Hilary Swank the lead in a romantic comedy? It’s like asking Michael Cera to take over the Bourne franchise, or Anthony Hopkins to do a gross-out comedy. And believe it or not, Swank’s next flick is another comedy, Birds of America (which I’m guessing is an adaptation of Lorrie Moore’s short story) alongside Mathew Perry, Lauren Graham, and Ginnifer Goodwin. It debuts at Sundance in less than a month. Get excited. Total: $6.5 million.

5. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: We will have John’s review of Sweeney Todd up in a couple of hours. I also saw it over the weekend, but I’ll let JMW do the talking, except to note: It’s exactly what I expected. Likewise, its box-office gross was within expectations, too. Total: $9.35.

4. Charlie Wilson’s War: The film did a lot better than my now excised Star Wars theory on American foreign policy did, which I’m pleased to note (those midnight screenings inspire the occasionally loopy train of thought). Charlie is a great film, and a modest $10 million opening will likely balloon; this thing is sticking around for the entirety of awards season. Sometimes, it’s nice to put an assortment of veteran talent together (Tom Hanks, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Mike Nichols, Aaron Sorkin) and churn out a solid, pretense-free, entertaining flick for adults. It’s like a Springsteen or R.E.M. album — they haven’t been your favorites for a decade, but they can still work a number on you. Indeed, if you have to see one film over the Christmas break, see Juno. But if you want to see two, check out Charlie Wilson (assuming you haven’t already seen No Country for Old Men). Total: $10 million.

3. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Alviiiiiiiiiin! Fuck off. Weekend: $29 million; Total: $85 million.

2. I Am Legend: Great film. Great Will Smith performance. But a week later, that ending still smarts. Weekend: $34 million; Total: $137 million.

1. National Treasure: Book of Secrets: It’s Christmas Eve, so I’m going to lay off of Nic Cage today. It just doesn’t seem worth it — if TK is around, maybe he’ll do the honors. I haven’t seen the movie; I didn’t see the first one. And, by most accounts, even those who hate both Nic Cage and the premise behind this film have been pleasantly surprised by the actual movie (as Phillip’s review suggested). I have no intention of testing that theory, however, because I’d rather tie off a testicle with a piece of sewing thread than suffer the excruciating confluence of Cage, Jon Turtletaub, and unholy historical accuracies. But, that’s just me. Total: $45 million.

There are a few DVD releases this week, but only one is worth the look see: Eastern Promises, featuring Viggo’s ass. Otherwise, Brothers Solomon has already arrived on DVD shelves (wasn’t it just releases a couple of months ago?), and Rush Hour 3 arrives on the 26th, during the midst of those post-Christmas sales. Avoid it.

As for us: We’re taking it easy through New Years. Expect reviews of all the major Christmas Day releases, which we’ll post throughout the week. And Litely may pop in occasional with a Pajiba Love. Otherwise, we’re going to watch a lot of films we don’t have to write about, kill some old people, recharge, and come back in January 2008 with our end-of-year lists, our Second Annual (Sh)It List, Sundance Coverage, another Classics Week, and a new feature or two for 2008. I’d express my (immense) gratitude for your patronage in 2007, but that is neither scathing nor bitchy. So, I’ll just leave you with this gift for the holidays. You can thank me later:

(p.s. Have you voted for our sister site, QuizLaw yet? It’s neck and neck, and if we can’t pull out a victory, a robot uprising is all but inevitable.)

Biology and the Prejudices of Others Conspired to Keep Us Childless

The Box Office Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Box Office Round-Ups | December 24, 2007 |

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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