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Monday December 17, 2007 10:00 pm

Box Office Breakdown: Will Smith a Legend in December

I Am Legend

You have to wonder whether is just a wee bit jealous of his friend’s success…

This weekend, not only smashed the box office debut of Cruise’s , he pounded everything in his path.  - the third adaptation of the 1954 Richard Matheson novel - nearly doubled the take of its nearest competitor while breaking the record for a December release.  Legend’s $77 million debut surpassed the bar set by Oscar-winner .  The final installment in the Lords trilogy brought in $72.6 million back in 2003.

Although was far behind in second place, its $44 million weekend was nothing to sneeze at.  The movie not only exceeded most expectations, it downright embarrassed third place finisher, How could anyone possibly explain freaky-looking chipmunks taking down a large polar bear?  The latter film only added another $8.8 million to its total, putting it a smidge closer to its $180 million budget.  (Granted, it has done better overseas.)

But let’s not be fooled by the large numbers at the top of the charts, the weekend’s most notable turnout was made by #11: .  The comedic charmer earned an impressive $35,686 per screen.  Meanwhile, (which opened in 3566 more theaters) averaged only $21,411.  Take that, Fresh Prince!

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1. I Am Legend, Warner Bros., $77,211,321
2. Alvin and the Chipmunks, 20th Century Fox, $44,307,417
3. The Golden Compass, New Line, $8,825,549
4. Enchanted, Disney, $5,533,884
5. No Country for Old Men, Paramount Vantage, $2,827,530
6. The Perfect Holiday, Yari Film Group, $2,283,360
7. This Christmas, Sony Screen Gems, $2,260,812
8. Fred Claus, Warner Bros., $2,221,438
9. Atonement, Focus Features, $1,806,862
10. August Rush,  Warner Bros., $1,765,319



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