Audiences everywhere proved it's not quite time yet for Christmas flicks, as Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan not only held onto first place at the box office this weekend, but it promptly took its lead and used it to beat down those playing catch up -- most notably, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. Borat chomped on those numbers and spit out a whopping $29 million, whereas Tim Allen's holiday pic hobbled into second place with $16.9 million. See, your film can have all the buzz in the world heading into its release, but at the end of the day if the final product fails to entertain (ahem, Snakes on a Plane), it's all for nothing. (Oh, and it also helps to screen your flick beforehand. Hint, hint.)
If you took Borat out of the equation, most of its audience probably would have helped propel Will Ferrell's Stranger Than Fiction into the weekend's top spot. However, with the Kazakhstani news reporter wreaking havoc, Ferrell's film fell to third with $14.1 million. Regardless, after a fall full of drama, violence and horror, it's nice to see three comedies dominate the box office. I say bring on the laughs -- we desperately need them. Speaking of horror, Saw III managed a fourth place finish, even if its $6.6 million was a little blah. But what does that say for everything behind Saw? Not much, apparently. Hey, but you have to hand it to Babel ($5.65 million) for beating The Departed ($5.2 million), The Return ($4.8 million), The Prestige ($4.6 million) and Harsh Times ($1.8 million).
Full numbers after the jump.
1. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, $29 million.
2. The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, $16.9 million.
3. Flushed Away, $16.7 million.
4. Stranger Than Fiction, $14.1 million.
5. Saw III, $6.6 million.
6. Babel, $5.65 million.
7. The Departed, $5.2 million.
8. The Return, $4.8 million.
9. The Prestige, $4.6 million.
10. A Good Year, $3.8 million.