Rodney Robot20th Century Fox staked a claim to join the "top toon" ranks, currently held by Dreamworks SKG and the Disney/Pixar teaming, with the bow of CGI pic Robots which cleaned up with an estimated $36.5 million on just under 3,800 screens with an average of $9, 666 according to Box Office Mojo. The film is receiving generally positive reviews, achieving a Metacritic.com rating of 63 out of 100 tops among major releases. On Robots, Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman remarks: " Robots is a high-tech marvel of low-tech love. The fluky charm of its chop-shop aesthetic is the embodiment of its theme, which is that individuality in robots is a good thing..."

Bruce Willis The only other new film opening wide was Miramax's Hostage which, in addition to receiving a mediocre 44 from Metacritic earned a paltry $9.8 million on 2,123 screens, an average of only slightly more than $4,600/screen. In perhaps the most scathing review lead I've read this year, the New York Times' Stephen Holden described the film as: "More than sad, it's slightly sickening to consider the technology, talent and know-how squandered on Hostage, a pile of blood-soaked toxic waste dumped onto the screen in an attempt to salvage Bruce Willis's fading career as an action hero." Me-OW!

Now called The Passion Recut (what's next, Jesus 2: Electric Boogaloo?) Mel Gibson's re-cut gnostic nosh failed to ignite the eternal flames of the faithful, with the Newmarket release grossing a paltry $240,000 on 954 screens, a Matthew 5:5-worthy meek per-screen tally of $251. Don't think this one's inheriting the earth though, Mel.

Coming in 4th among new entries was Mike Binder's New Line flick The Upside of Anger. You might remember Binder as the creative "force" behind HBO's thankfully short-lived  series The Mind of the Married Man but Anger seems to be doing better with critics (and audiences) by receiving a respectful 62 on Metacritic. The Kevin Costner/Joan Allen starrer averaged a fantastic $25,000/screen at 9 locales.

To check out how the rest of the films fared this weekend, click on the "Read" link, below.

[Ed. note: do to a miscommunication between Karina and myself, there will be two B.O. posts today. Maybe we'll keep doing it and throw some more attitude your way. Whaddaya think? Let us know in the comments of either post!]

Photos: top from Robots, © 20th Century Fox; bottom: from Hostage, © Miramax Films