'Yes Man' Says Yes to No. 1 Box Office

Three newly-released films, 'Yes Man', 'Seven Pounds' and 'The Tale of Despereaux', dominate the North American box office, debuting at the top three and pushing aside 'The Day the Earth Stood Still'.
Overshadowing last weekend champ "The Day the Earth Stood Still", Jim Carrey's latest comedy, "Yes Man", has topped the North American box office. Making its debut in theaters on Friday, December 19, the Warner Bros. Pictures comedy has brought in $18.3 million over the three-day weekend of screening in about 3,434 theaters.

The weekend bow gave Carrey a better Christmas comedy debut. The comedian's previous Christmas comedy, "Fun With Dick and Jane", opened in theaters with $14.4 million in 2005. Hence, it marked Carrey's best live-action opening since his "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" debuted with $30 million in December 2004.

Hot on the heels of "Yes Man" was "Seven Pounds". Collecting around two million less than Carrey's comedy film, this Will Smith-starrer drama pulled in $14.9 million. The relatively low sales number marked Smith's worst opening since "Ali" which opened in theaters with $14.7 million in 2001.

Despite its failure to top "The Pursuit of Happyness" $26.5 million bow in 2006, Sony president of worldwide distribution Rory Bruer is yet to lose confident in the movie. "I'm certain the movie will find its way. We had great exits, and people like the movie. I think the long-term prospects are very, very good," Bruer commented.

Another new entry making to the top three was Universal Pictures animation "The Tale of Despereaux". The tale of big-eared mouse with great curiosity and ambitions brought home $10.1 million upon its release in 3,104 theaters across the country. Seeing that it is the only G-rated film in the marketplace, "Despereaux" has the advantage to rake in more gold. Universal president of distribution Nikki Rocco said, "We're in great shape to play through the holidays."

Slipping down to the fourth place was "The Day the Earth Stood Still". After sitting comfortably atop the chart last weekend, the sci-fi remake experienced a 67.6% decline in sales, making it to collect $9.9 million. Meanwhile, "Four Christmases" rounded up the top five box office with $7.7 million. Collecting in total $100.1 million, the Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn-starring comedy broke the $100 million milestone after four weekend of screening.

Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for December 19 - 21:
  1. "Yes Man" - $18.3 million
  2. "Seven Pounds" - $14.9 million
  3. "The Tale of Despereaux" - $10.1 million
  4. "The Day the Earth Stood Still" - $9.9 million
  5. "Four Christmases" - $7.7 million
  6. "Twilight" - $5.2 million
  7. "Bolt" - $4.1 million
  8. "Slumdog Millionaire" - $3.1 million
  9. "Australia" - $2.2 million
  10. "Quantum of Solace" - $2.1 million

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