Apocalypto Is No Personal Apocalypse For Gibson
Mel Gibson's career avoided the fate of the Mayan civilization over the weekend as his Apocalypto debuted at the top of the box office with an estimated $14.2 million. The film not only overcame the devastating public outcry that was attendant upon Gibson's drunk driving arrest and subsequent anti-Semitic rant, it also overcame mixed reviews from critics and predictions by box office analysts that a film with no recognizable stars and spoken in a foreign language was a certain failure. (New York Observer critic Rex Reed described Apocalypto as "a movie nobody wants to see, featuring hundreds of people nobody has ever heard of, speaking a language nobody can understand.") But if Apocalypto emerged as a solid hit, Blood Diamond, which challenged it for the young male audience, proved to be made of zirconium. To the relief of jewelry-store owners everywhere, the Leonardo DiCaprio starrer about how the diamond trade helped support bloody revolutions in Africa earned just $8.5 million and wound up in fifth place. Debuting in second was the chick-flick comedy The Holiday, which brought in $13.5 million, followed by the fourth week of Warner Bros.' Happy Feet, which took in about $12.7 million to bring its total to $137.7 million. With two new action/adventure films to contend with Sony/MGM's Casino Royale made do with $8.8 million. It has now grossed $128.9 million in four weeks.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Media by Numbers:
1. Apocalypto, $14.2 million; 2. The Holiday, $13.5 million; 3. Happy Feet, $12.7 million; 4. Casino Royale, $8.8 million; 5. Blood Diamond, $8.5 million; 6. Unaccompanied Minors, $6.2 million; 7. Déjà Vu, $6.1 million; 8. The Nativity Story, $5.6 million; 9. Deck the Halls, $3.9 million; 10. The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, $3.3 million.