I was considering a title pun on Richard Kelly getting Box-ed out -- which works on multiple levels!! -- but I couldn't pull the trigger. That, though, is my main concern this weekend, to be honest: I am heartbroken (though not surprised) that Kelly's wonderful, hugely ambitious sci-fi flick couldn't get a foothold at the box office. People at my Thursday night screening thought they had seen one of the worst movies ever, which I guess is what happens when you're led to expect harmless PG-13 horror and get something so radically different. I also suspect that Donnie Darko would have been similarly received had it opened on 2,600 screens instead of building its cult cred in mini-release and on DVD.

Anyway, The Boxearned $7.9 million -- not a total disaster for a $25 million movie, but not exactly a resume-builder for Kelly to the extent he has commercial ambitions. It was roundly defeated by the rest of the weekend's newcomers, most notably A Christmas Carol, which took first place with $31 million. That may not seem like a lot, but note that Zemeckis's The Polar Express opened to even less on its way to $180 million. I predict that A Christmas Carol, which looks wonderful on IMAX 3-D, will hold up well.

The weekend's other big winner was Precious, which Lionsgate pushed to an impressive $100,000 per-screen average on 18 screens. Even accounting for the very limited release, that's pretty strong; Brokeback Mountain-like numbers ($80-90 million) are probably within reach.

More, and the weekend top 10, after the jump.