Like one of those sports movies in which the dark-horse hero overcomes tremendous odds and overtakes a mighty rival, Warner Bros.' The Blind Side raced ahead of The Twilight Saga New Moon in their third week of competition to take over first place with $20.04 million, according to final box-office figures released Monday. Veteran box-office tracker Paul Dergarabedian attributed the "amazing ... ascent" to "great word-of-mouth." Another factor may have been early market saturation for New Moon . Fans of the Twilight films (and/or its star, Robert Pattinson) may have been so eager to see New Moon that they rushed to the theaters in its first two weeks of release. That there was relatively little new or repeat business in its third week was evidenced by the fact that it dropped a whopping 64 percent to $15.3 million. Among four newcomers, only Brothers, starring Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman, and Jake Gyllenhaal, posted decent figures. It came in at the high end of expectations with $9.53 million. The thriller Armored, starring Matt Dillon and Laurence Fishburne debuted with $6.51 million, a figure probably better than what the studio, Sony/Screen Gems, expected, given the fact that it declined to show it in advance to critics. And there was little that was fine about the opening of Disney/Miramax's Everybody's Fine , starring Robert De Niro and Drew Barrymore, which collected just $3.85 million. A fourth film, the vampire spoof Transylmania had the distinction of opening with the lowest total in recent box-office history for a film opening in more than 1,000 theaters -- just $263,941 from 1,007, theaters -- or an average take of $262 from each of them. On the other hand, two films showing in limited release performed sensationally. Paramount's Up in the Air, starring George Clooney, amassed $1.18 million from just 15 theaters, or a massive $78,763 per theater (by contrast, The Blind Side averaged $6,026 per theater); it's due to open wide on Christmas Day. And Disney previewed The Princess and the Frog in New York and Los Angeles, combining it with an activities sideshow. The premium-priced screenings amassed an amazing $747,710 from the two theaters showing it -- or $373,855 for each theater. Dergarabedian pronounced the result "phenomenal."
The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Box Office Mojo (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date) 1. The Blind Side, The, Warner Bros. $20,043,181, 3 Wks. ($128,867,559); 2. The Twilight Saga New Moon , Summit, $15,427,628, 3 Wks. ($255,363,052); 3. Brothers, Lionsgate, $9,527,848, (New); 4. Disney's A Christmas Carol, Disney $7,763,244, 4 Wks. ($115,249,331); 5. Old Dogs , Disney, $6,892,265, 2 Wks. ($33,924,385); 6. 2012, Sony, $6,771,665, 4 Wks. ($148,958,486); 7. Armored, Sony, $6,511,128, (New); 8. Ninja Assassin, Warner Bros. $5,061,499, 2 Wks. ($29,821,996); 9. Planet 51, Sony/Tri-star/Alliance, $4,386,873, 3 Wks. ($34,052,876); 10. Everybody's Fine, Miramax, $3,852,068, (New).