As most of us predicted, The Golden Compass took the number one spot, but didn't do nearly as well as expected. Compass was the only new release last week, so the rest of the top five was filled out by movies that have been around for a bit. Fred Claus was in its fifth week but still managed to cling to the number four spot and Enchanted still held onto second place despite having been in its third week of release. Here's the final tally:

1. The Golden Compass: $26.1 million.
2. Enchanted: $10.7 million.
3. This Christmas: $5 million.
4. Fred Claus: $4.7 million.
5. Beowulf: $4.4 million.

After a couple weeks of an anemic release schedule, we've got three films going into wide release, covering the genres of family comedy, science fiction/horror and romantic comedy.

Alvin and the Chipmunks
What's It All About:
Jason Lee stars as a struggling song writer whose tunes finally become successful when sung by a trio of talking chipmunks.
Why It Might Do Well:
There's definitely a market for family oriented comedy around the holidays, and yes the little buggers are really cute.
Why It Might Not Do Well: Disease riddled mutants will probably keep the chippers out of first place, but they should hit their target demographic and take home the silver.
Number of Theaters: 3,300
Prediction:
$16 million

I Am Legend
What's It All About:
Richard Matheson's classic horror novel is brought to the screen for the third time. This time around, Will Smith stars as Robert Neville, the last surviving human in New York City. A global plague has mutated the remainder of the population, but Neville struggles to find a cure for the plague using his own blood.
Why It Might Do Well:
Smith can certainly bring them in at the box office. I suspect this will be the number one film next week.
Why It Might Not Do Well: Similarities to 28 Days Later may put some people off and some may see this as just another zombie movie. In fact, Matheson's novel served as an unofficial inspiration for Night of the Living Dead, so rather than being a Johnny Come Lately, I Am Legend is where the zombie formula began.
Number of Theaters: 3,500
Prediction: $38 million
The Perfect Holiday
What's It All About:
Holiday romance blossoms when a little girl tells a department store Santa that all her single mom wants for Christmas is a compliment from a man.
Why It Might Do Well:
People looking for seasonal fair that isn't necessarily for the kids may enjoy this one.
Why It Might Not Do Well: Rottentomatoes.com is only giving this a 25% rating, with reviewers tossing out words that will put them on Santa's naughty list.
Number of Theaters: 1,306
Prediction: $5 million

I had planned to ask Santa himself to help with my weekly prediction, but my trip down to the local mall to meet with him ended badly. Something about a forty-something guy trying to sit on Santa's lap was deemed inappropriate and security was called. As a result, this week's prediction comes from Zack, an admittedly sketchy character with eyes that never seemed to be looking in the same direction who was sitting next to me in the holding cell:
1. I Am Legend
2. Alvin and the Chipmunks
3. The Golden Compass
4. The Perfect Holiday
5. Enchanted


And here's how last week's competition went:
1. Mjd: 12
1. Bubba8193: 12
2. Matt: 9
2. Josh: 9
2. Dana: 9
2. Ray: 9
2. Chris: 9
2. Kevin: 9
2. Anna07: 9
2. Aaron: 9
3. YouFaceTheTick: 4
3. G: 4

Why not give yourself a little break from the holiday madness and take a try at our weekly box office prediction competition. No prizes are awarded, but it'll make me happy and every good deed you do will get you closer to being back in good graces with Santa. Post your predictions 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.