jarhead.jpgChicken Little made $40.1 million dollars this weekend. That's a respectable fall opening by any estimation – Variety even admits the Disney film "exceed[ed] industry expectations" – and yet, David Germain over at the AP can't resist the obvious. "The sky is still falling in Hollywood, even though Chicken Little and the Marines have landed," he writes. Uh, what? Chicken's $40 million aside, Sam Mendes' warless war film chalked up $28.8 million in second place. That's just about what The Exorcism of Emily Rose opened to two months ago – leading us all to trip over one another to proclaim it a huge hit. So what's the problem?

It's nothing new. This whole massive, misguided slump dialectic has been based on year-to-year grosses. This weekend is down 10% compared to this weekend last year. But so what? The top two films of the frame outpaced all expectations, and expanding holdovers such as Shopgirl and Good Night, and Good Luck moved stealthily into the Top Ten. Full top ten after the jump but remember: don't believe the slump hype.