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'The Day the Earth Stood Still'


'The Day the Earth Stood Still' invades top box office spot

  • Story Highlights
  • "The Day the Earth Stood Still" debuted with a weekend gross of $31 million
  • The yuletide comedy "Four Christmases" slipped to second with $13.3 million
  • Teen vampire romance "Twilight" reached a gross total of $150 million
By Amy Wilkinson

Jaden Smith is getting a small taste of what it's like to walk in dad Will's action-blockbuster shoes.

As expected, the remake of the 1951 sci-fi flick starring Keanu Reeves easily replaced Four Christmases atop the box office leader board with an opening weekend gross of $31 million, according to Sunday's estimates.

Despite mediocre reviews, the film held fairly steady throughout the weekend, falling slightly shy of our $36 million estimate.

The Vince Vaughn-Reese Witherspoon yuletide comedy came in second with $13.3 million, bringing its three-week total to just under $88 million, while Twilight faded to the third spot during its forth week with just over $8 million.

The teen vampire romance managed to reach one milestone, however, grossing a total of $150 million -- the amount director Catherine Hardwicke surmised the movie would have to suck in for sequel New Moon to get the go ahead. Obviously, Summit executives saw the writing on the wall weeks ago and have hired Chris Weitz (About a Boy, American Pie) to direct next fall's follow-up.

Rounding out the top five are Disney's doggie flick Bolt with $7.5 million and Baz Luhrmann's underperforming Australia with $4.3 million.

The weekend's other new major release -- Nothing Like the Holidays, starring John Leguizamo and Debra Messing -- got coal in its stocking with a measly $3.5 million during its first weekend.

Also of note is the Clint Eastwood-starring Gran Torino (rumored to be the actor-director's last turn in front of the camera).

Although it opened in only six theaters (three in New York, three in L.A.), the film scored the best per screen average, $47,333, with a gross of only $284,000.

Entry #612


Ms. PatComment by Ms. Pat - December 14, 2008, 11:26 pm
Nothing like the original with Michael Rennie.....I'm old school

Ms. Pat
justxploringComment by justxploring - December 14, 2008, 11:45 pm
Ms Pat, you beat me to it. Special effects can never replace Michael Rennie & Patricia Neal. The movie was released in 1951, the year I was born. I always thought that's why the Earth stood still. :-)
Ms. PatComment by Ms. Pat - December 15, 2008, 12:14 am
LOL justxploring
The acting was superb....that's why I like the old movies....
Old movie buff....They always mess them up when they remake.......
Ms. pat
TenajComment by Tenaj - December 15, 2008, 6:31 am
OMG Ms. Pat and Justxploring. Me too. I am a passionate classic movie buff.

Same thing with the "War of the Worlds" remake...and I just couldn't take it when "A Raisin in the Sun was remade for TV" You can't touch perfection. I'm still cringing from that.

I liked classic movies even when I was 20.

TCM's has a wonderful classic movie forum. http://www.tcm.com/index.jsp

I also visit http://www.imdb.com forum (comments) for individual movies.
PeacefulManComment by PeacefulMan - December 15, 2008, 8:20 am
The old classic or original came on TCM just over a week ago. Like the way they slide the originals in for viewing right before remakes so you can compare.

NBey6Comment by NBey6 - December 15, 2008, 3:53 pm
The original '51 version is coming on Dec. 23rd on AMC. I might just watch that again. I've seen this movie so many times, I can't even remember the total now.


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