Say all you want about Mel Gibson's driving, audiences were curious enough (about another Gibson film? about the Mayan civilization? about whether or not there would be a slew of Jewish jokes -- like that one about the Rabbi who wondered into the forest and was chased by a tribe for a little over two hours?) to show up and help Apocalypto finish in the number one spot this weekend. Granted, it's $14.2 million didn't break any records, and just barely beat out a film with one helluva odd cast (Jack Black, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz? Who cast this film -- identical twin sisters who hate one another?), but it still managed to finally knock Happy Feet and Casino Royale out of the top two spots.
Now comes the fun part -- did Apocalypto generate enough buzz to carry it onward and upward? Or will it crash after people realize they have to read words on the bottom of the screen for a really long time? My personal prediction? Depending on whether Oscar throws him a bone, I'd say Apocalypto tops out at around $43 million domestically. As previously noted, The Holiday ($13.5 million) took the weekend's second spot, while Happy Feet ($12.7 million) lingered around in the third position. Casino Royale continued to feed off penguin leftovers; it took fourth with $8.8 million. Perhaps the idea of Leonardo DiCaprio with a strange accent hurt its opening, or maybe the competition was just too tough (I know folks must have been dying for a nice, wholesome chick flick) -- regardless, Blood Diamond finished fifth with $8.5 million.
Unaccompanied Minors ($6.2 million) gut stuck duking it out with Deja Vu ($6.1 million), while The Nativity Story ($5.6 million) dipped a bit more this week, despite the fact that it's playing in 3,083 freaking theaters. This year's two dreadful Christmas comedies, Deck the Halls ($3.9 million) and The Santa Clause 3 ($3.3 million), rounded out the top ten.
Full numbers after the jump.