The Princess and the Frog, Disney’s return to hand-drawn animation, expanded to wide release this past weekend, enabling it to take the top spot at the box office as it earned $25 million. This pushed Disney’s other movie—the 3-D A Christmas Carol—down to spot five. The Blind Side fell one spot to number two, but its $15.4 million weekend pushed its total earnings past the $150 million mark. The Clint Eastwood film Invictus, starring Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, took the number three spot in its first weekend of release (with a somewhat tepid $9.09 million), while New Moon took spot number four with $8 million.
Debuting with limited releases were Tom Ford’s A Single Man ($216,000 at nine theaters), Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones ($116,000 in three theaters) and comedy troupe Broken Lizard’s The Slammin’ Salmon ($26,000 in 11 theaters), taking spots 19, 23 and 26 respectively. Next weekend sees the limited release of Crazy Heart, which has been earning Jeff Bridges a lot of attention for his performance as a country music singer, and the wide release of Did You Hear About the Morgans?. But undoubtedly next weekend’s big release will be James Cameron’s sci-fi epic Avatar. The movie’s budget is reported as being $230 million—we’ll have to wait and see how much of that gets recouped on opening weekend.