In the time I've been doing this feature I don't think this has ever happened before: last week's number two film is number one this week. None of the new films from last week were up to the challenge of outselling Bee Movie and American Gangster, and the animated Jerry Seinfeld comedy managed to outdo the Denzel Washington/Russell Crowe crime drama and usurp the top spot. Don't believe me? Look for yourself:

1. Bee Movie: $26 million.
2. American Gangster: $24.3 million.
3. Fred Claus: $19.2 million.
4. Lions for Lambs: $6.7 million.
5. Dan in Real Life: $5.9 million.

Escape from modern life seems to be the key to this week's releases with one taking place in the past, another taking place in a contemporary fantasy world and a third in a fantasy version of the 8th century.

Beowulf
What's It All About: The epic poem believed to have been penned around 700 A.D. is adapted for the big screen using an all digital approach with the actors performances being rendered via motion capture.
Why It Might Do Well: The action looks spectacular.
Why It Might Not Do Well: I can't be the only person who thinks that, despite the remarkable technical achievement at work here, it still looks like a video game.
Number of Theaters: 2,800
Prediction:
$30 million

Love in the Time of Cholera
What's It All About:
The story of a love triangle in South America at the turn of the 20th century from the director of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Four Weddings and a Funeral.
Why It Might Do Well: Because love and infectious diseases go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Why It Might Not Do Well:
Period drama is a tough sell, and the relatively small release will keep it out of the top five.
Number of Theaters: 800
Prediction: $3.5 million Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
What's It All About: Dustin Hoffman stars as the 243 year old toymaker who hires spunky young go getter Natalie Portman to run his toy store.
Why It Might Do Well:
A strong cast and a public hungering for holiday fair combined with the fact that this one is opening in more theaters than any other new release should pull in some dough, but I don't see this as hitting number one.
Why It Might Not Do Well: Didn't we just have a Willy Wonka remake?
Number of Theaters: 3,200
Prediction: $16 million

Here's how I see the coming weekend's box office:
1. Beowulf
2. Bee Movie
3. Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
4. American Gangster
5. Fred Claus


Bubba8193 had the top spot again last week in our box office prediction competition, with yours truly and several other astute precognitive individuals tying for second.

1. Bubba8193: 11
2. Matt: 8
2. Gregory Rubinstein: 8
2. Mario: 8
2. Chris: 8
2. Ray: 8
3. Aaron: 7
4. NPC: 6
4. Josh: 6
4. mjd: 6
4. VP: 6
4. Dre: 6

Don't forget to post your prediction in the comments section below before 5:00PM on Saturday. One point for every top five movie correctly named, two points for every correct placement, and one extra point for the top movie.