You really expect a movie headlined by Will Smith -- the consensus Biggest Movie Star in the World -- to at least break $20 million in its opening weekend. You'd have to go back to 2001's Ali to find one that didn't. Instead, Seven Pounds -- poorly reviewed and marketed to emphasize the central mystery in a way that turned out mystifying -- played second fiddle to Jim Carrey's Yes Man, pulling in $16 million to Yes Man's $18.1 million.

The Seven Pounds result is actually not terribly surprising, even given the Will Smith factor -- the movie is a morose downer, with none of the uplifting, holiday-appropriate draw of 2006's affable The Pursuit of Happyness (another Smith-Gabriele Muccino collaboration), and the people looking for that sort of thing have a lot to choose from this time of year, most of it carrying more cred. I'm a bit more taken aback by Yes Man's relatively weak opening. For a high-concept Jim Carrey comedy, opening a good three weeks after the last big light-hearted offering, $18 million is uninspiring. It's in the same ballpark as Fun with Dick and Jane, opening around the same time three years ago, but that one went up against three other comedies opening the same weekend, and was harder to market. I wonder if Jim Carrey's draw might be waning a bit.