The ability to sustain a sense of Seuss in a CGI scenario (I can't rhyme like the good doctor, but I can alliterate with the best of them) worked in the favor of Horton Hears a Who, last week's number one flick by a country mile, giving it the biggest opening weekend of 2008 so far. Like many of the folks taking part in our weekly box office competition (see the bottom of this post for details) I underestimated the tale of teen angst and kickboxing that is Never Back Down while overestimating the drawing power of the apocalypse with Doomsday, which finished seventh for the week with a mere $4.9 million. 10,000 B.C. dropped only as far as second place for its second week, though its total so far of $61.5 million has a ways to go before exceeding the film's $105 million budget. Here are the numbers for last weekend:

1. Horton Hears a Who: $45 million
2. 10,000 B.C.: $16.7 million
3. Never Back Down: $8.6 million
4. College Road Trip: $7.8 million
5. Vantage Point: $5.5 million

If you're determined to see something new this week, you have your choice of laughs, screams, and family drama. Here are this week's newbies:

Drillbit Taylor
What's It All About:
A comedy in which a group of high school nerds search the ads in Soldier of Fortune magazine for a body guard to protect them from the school bully. They hire a homeless guy named Drillbit Taylor (it never pays to go with the lowest bidder) played by Owen Wilson.
Why It Might Do Well:
Wilson, of course, has many comedic credits to his name, including Wedding Crashers which pulled in $209 million domestically. Also, Seth Rogen seems to have the midas touch and he co-wrote the screenplay.
Why It Might Not Do Well: Based on the TV spots I keep seeing, people who aren't comfortable with nerd on nerd violence may stay away.
Number of Theaters: 2,700
Prediction:
$12 million

Shutter
What's It All About:
In this remake of a Thai horror film, a couple begin seeing ghosts in photographs after they are involved in a tragic car accident.
Why It Might Do Well: It's got Pacey from Dawson's Creek (Joshua Jackson) and the screenplay is by Luke Dawson. A slightly weird connection like that has got to be worth something. On top of that, the trailer has some real creepy imagery. The bit where photos are used to make a flip book to show a ghost crawling across the floor really stays with you.
Why It Might Not Do Well: Horror remakes tend to leave a bad taste in my mouth.
Number of Theaters:
2,700
Prediction: $7 million

Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns
What's It All About:
A down on her luck single mother living in inner city Chicago travels to Georgia to attend the funeral of the father she never met. While there she meets the crass southern family she never knew she had.
Why It Might Do Well: The last film Perry directed, Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married, grossed $55 million in the U.S. on what was presumably a modest budget and had a $21 million opening weekend.
Why It Might Not Do Well: Horton's grip on the box office hasn't relaxed yet, but I see this taking second place next week.
Number of Theaters: 2,000
Prediction: $17 million

I think Horton still has some mileage in him, and even after that huge opening weekend he's still going to kick the competition's butt next week, with Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns probably doing the best of the new releases. Here's my prediction:
1. Horton Hears a Who
2. Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns
3. Drillbit Taylor
4. Shutter
5. 10,000 B.C.


Thanks to everyone for participating in the weekly box office competition. Here's how everyone did:
1. Chris: 13
2. Alex Farquharson: 12
2. kevin: 12
3. Matt: 11
3. I Eat Robots: 11
3. Gregory Rubinstein: 11
3. Jessejames: 11
3. Smiggy: 11
4. Aaron: 10
5. DarkAgair: 9
5. Ray: 9
5. Josh: 9
5. Gary: 9
5. Rufus: 9

Will Shutter shut out the competition? WIll Drillbit Taylor take the other flicks to the cleaners (Get it? Taylor? Cleaners? Oh, never mind). Post your predictions for the top five movies in the comments section below before 5:00PM on Friday. One point for every top five movie correctly named, two points for every correct placement, and one extra point for the top movie.