Most box-office experts had predicted that the Clint Eastwood-directed Invictus would open with around $10-15 million, despite boasting strong performances from its stars, Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, and overall critical applause. It opened just below that forecast, with an estimated $9.1 million. Several movie mavens blamed the marketing campaign for the disappointing opening, suggesting that it looked like something created for a History Channel biopic. Moreover, the inspirational rugby movie was going head-to-head against an inspirational American football movie, The Blind Side , arguably the biggest sleeper hit of the season, which added another $15.5 million to its winnings that now stand at $150 million. Still, Clint Eastwood-directed films generally start slowly but persistently plod ahead while rivals run out of steam. "It'll have great word of mouth and long legs through the holidays," one Warner Bros. executive told the Los Angeles Times .

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo 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, $4.39 million; 9. Armored, $3.5 million; 10. Ninja Assassin, $2.7 million.

14/12/2009