The Blind Side turned out to be a real eye-opener for box-office analysts over the weekend as the movie held on to first place in its third weekend with an estimated $20.1 million -- about what the analysts had predicted it would make in its first weekend. The film, which was released with little buzz and reports of unexceptional tracking, has now taken in $129.3 million and seems certain to become the highest-grossing sports movie ever. Meanwhile, The Twilight Saga New Moon clearly has lost its bite. It dropped a steep 63 percent to about $15.7 million. (Nevertheless, its current tally stands at an astounding $255.6 million.) On the other hand Disney's A Christmas Carol continued to be the gift that keeps on giving for Disney as it brought in an additional $7.5 million in its fifth week to bring its total to $115 million. Four films opened wide over the weekend but made little impact. The best performer of the lot was Brothers , which took in an unexceptional $9.7 million. Armored, which was not screened for critics in advance, brought in just $6.6 million. Everybody's Fine was anything but fine as it opened with just $4 million. And then there was Transylmania, which proved that vampires don't always flourish in The Darkness of movie theaters. Earning a total of $274,000 at 1,007 theaters, it instantly gained the record for the least amount of money ever taken in by a movie opening in more than 1,000 theaters during an opening weekend. In limited release, Up in the Air with George Clooney flew sky high, earning around $1.2 million in just 15 theaters -- or an average of $79,000 per theater. The film received solid reviews on Friday, the same day it was voted best film of the year by the National Board of Review.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo 1. The Blind Side , $20.4 million; 2. Twilight New Moon , $15.7 million; 3. Brothers , $9.7 million; 4. Disney's A Christmas Carol , $7.5 million; 5. Old Dogs , $6.9 million; 6. Armored , $6.6 million; 6. (Temporary Tie) 2012 , $6.6 million; 8. Ninja Assassin , $5 million; 9. Planet 51 , $4.3 million; 10. Everybody's Fine , $4 million.

07/12/2009