There was a lot more life in Immortals than most box office pundits had expected. The swords-and-sandals epic that drew thumbs-down reviews from nearly every major newspaper critic debuted with an estimated $32 million. Even Relativity Media, which produced it, had figured it would probably earn around $25 million for the three-day weekend. Those same pundits also underestimated the three-day pulling power of Adam Sandler's Jack and Jill -- and, for that matter, the ability of Sandler himself to draw big crowds. Sony's PG-rated comedy opened in second place with a solid $26 million. Still, that figure was only $500,000 above the $25.5 million that Paramount/DreamWorks Animation's Puss in Boots pulled in. (It was down just 23 percent from a week ago.) Final figures on Monday could see the second- and third-place finish order reverse. Universal's Tower Heist dropped to fourth place after a week that saw its name frequently mentioned in stories about its director, Brett Ratner, and its star, Eddie Murphy, who dropped out of next year's Oscar telecast following beyond-the-pale comments by Ratner about gays and his sex life. It was down a modest 45 percent from last weekend, reaffirming the old bromide that in Hollywood, any publicity is good publicity. Opening in fifth place was Warner Bros.' biopic J. Edgar , which performed according to expectations -- which weren't high to begin with. The critically praised Clint Eastwood-directed film starring Leonardo Dicaprio as legendary FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover took in about $11.6 million, but it's expected to have a long shelf life and to get a boost during awards season beginning next month.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo 1. Immortals , $32 million; 2. Jack and Jill , $26 million; 3. Puss in Boots , $25.5 million; 4. Tower Heist , $13.2 million; 5. J. Edgar , $11.5 million; 6. A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas , $5.9 million; 7. In Time , $4.2 million; 8. Paranormal Activity 3 , $3.6 million; 9. Footloose , $2.7 million; 10. Real Steel , $2 million.