Will Smith Saves Hollywood; Talking Chipmunks Also Save Hollywood

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. and Fox 2000 Pictures

Will Smith's I Am Legend took in an astounding $76.5 million over the weekend, besting expectations and shattering the record for the biggest December opening of all time (previously held by 2003's Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King). Legend's box-office take was so huge that it even inspired Hollywood analyst Paul Dergarabedian to write his first real half-joke! "It's no wonder Will Smith feels so lonely: Everyone else on Earth is in the movie theater," he told the AP, cheekily referring to the film's plot, in which Smith is left alone in Manhattan following a vampire apocalypse. Also opening huge was Alvin and the Chipmunks, which earned an impressive $45 million despite the fact that pretty much every critic on the planet hated it. The Golden Compass continued to disappoint, placing third with just $9 million and bringing its ten-day total to $41 million, which is a good deal less than the $180 million New Line spent to make it. Still, its makers can rest easy knowing that — given the massive success of Chipmunks — they have probably succeeded in killing God after all.

'Legend,' Smith break records [AP]