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The Princess and the Frog

Disney Enterprises Inc

Sorry, hands. CGI is still king. 

The old-fashioned Princess and the Frog grossed an old-fashioned $25 million Friday-Sunday, per estimates, a take more line with Disney's last, decade-old princess movie than its last computer-literate Pixar production.

Still, Princess rallied as the weekend rolled on, and reigned in the box-office standings, unseating Sandra Bullock's still-strong The Blind Side ($15.5 million), and blocking the Clint Eastwood-Matt Damon rugby-powered drama, Invictus ($9.1 million).

Drilling down into the numbers to document the fall of New Moon, and the rise of Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones:

Princess and the Frog did what it was expected to do, and, given its okay, $7 million Friday, even more. The overall gross, however, was more Mulan ($22.7 million—back in 1998) than Up ($68.1 million last May), or even the CGI-live-action hybrid, G-Force ($31.7 million last July). 

The Blind Side, last weekend's champ, fell to No. 1, but basically held ground in ticket sales. After four weekends, the Bullock drama has taken in $150.2 million.

New Moon slid two places, from second to fourth, and continued to see Twilight fever cool. Still, the monster love story is now the fifth highest-grossing movie of the year, and, at $267.4 million overall and counting, it should overtake The Hangover for fourth place. 

You don't quibble over Eastwood's box-office stats (his smallest wide-release opening since Blood Work, etc.). You stand there in awe that he keeps putting up box-office stats worth quibbling over.  And you point out that the $60 million movie is probably going to play on through Oscar season, Damon's short shorts or no.

It looks like Brothers ($5 million, down nearly 50 percent from last weekend; $17.4 million overall) won't be the next first smash war hit of the war-torn 2000s.

In the battle of the Oscar-buzz movies, Jackson's The Lovely Bones grossed $116,000 at three theaters, while the Mad Men-evoking A Single Man made $216,328 at nine theaters. The final score: Bones, which got buzz-killing reviews, actually, unlike A Single Man, made more money, per theater, than any film reporting grosses.

George Clooney's Up in the Air ($2.5 million) got closer to the Top 10, despite still playing at fewer than 100 theaters.

In its third weekend, Zac Efron's Me and Orson Welles ($176,192) got nowhere near the Top 10, despite playing at only eight fewer theaters than Up in the Air.

The Princess and the Frog would like to point out that, CGI or no, Planet 51 (2.3 million) was bounced from the Top 10 after three weekends, and after only $37.2 million overall.

Also out of the Top 10, and after just one weekend: Robert De Niro's Everybody's Fine ($2.2 million; $7.4 million overall).

Here's a look at the weekend's top-grossing films based on Friday-Sunday estimates as compiled by Exhibitor Relations:

  1. The Princess and the Frog, $25 million
  2. The Blind Side, $15.5 million
  3. Invictus, $9.1 million
  4. The Twilight Saga: New Moon, $8 million
  5. Disney's A Christmas Carol, $6.9 million
  6. Brothers, $5 million
  7. 2012, $4.4 million
  8. Old Dogs, $4.396 million
  9. Armored, $3.5 million
  10. Ninja Assassin, $2.7 million


Still deciding what to see? Have a look in our Totally New Releases gallery.