I think critics should start boycotting the yearly Christmas Family Comedy. It's amazing: these movies are never good. I can't think of another distinct subgenre with such a poor track record over the last decade. And of course, I went and saw Four Christmases, of my own free will. I'm an idiot.

In any event, it was silly of me to imply that Four Christmases didn't have the muscle to win the weekend; high-profile Christmas movies almost always do well. The $31.7 million three-day is one of the best openings ever for a movie of this kind; last year's Fred Claus, also starring Vince Vaughn, only managed $18.5 million in early November. Four Christmases even squeaked out Elf. Its five-day gross was an impressive $46.7 million.

Australia, on the other hand: oh boy. Baz Luhrmann's ultra-expensive, ultra-long epic made $20 million over the five days, which is less than inspiring -- especially considering it has now basically exited the Oscar race. Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge! only ended up with around $57 million at the end of its domestic run -- but it didn't cost $130 million, either.

Transporter 3 -- the weekend's best new offering, for my money -- did okay with $12.3 million over three days and $18.5 over five. The three-day is a slight decline from what Transporter 2 did three years ago, but overall I'd put them even. This franchise continues to be profitable.

Twilight fell considerably, which isn't too surprising given the rabid-fan phenomenon that packs theaters opening weekend. Around $160 million is looking like the endgame. Meanwhile, Bolt, facing no new kid-centric competition over the weekend, held up almost miraculously well, actually gaining slightly over the three-day weekend. The folks at Disney have surely turned last weekend's frown upside down.

Slots 10 and 11 on the weekend's chart are occupied by limited releases: Milk and Slumdog Millionaire, on 36 and 49 screens, respectively. Their success bodes well for their Oscar chances.

The full five-day estimates after the jump. 1 - Four Christmases (Sony) - $46.71 ($14,112) - $46.71
2 - Twilight (Summit) - $39.52 ($11,539) - $119.69
3 - Bolt (Disney) - $36.01 ($9,855) - $66.86
4 - Quantum of Solace (Sony) - $28.13 ($8,034) - $142.06
5 - Australia (Fox) - $20.00 ($7,570) - $20.00
6 - Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (Dreamworks/Paramount) - $19.60 ($5,284) - $159.51
7 - Transporter 3 (Lionsgate) - $18.50 ($7,045) - $18.50
8 - Role Models (Universal) - $7.81 ($3,557) - $57.90
9 - The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (Miramax) - $2.19 ($3,762) - $5.16
10 - Milk (Focus) - $1.87 ($51,833) - $1.87
11 - Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight) - $1.79 ($36,483) - $3.57

Next weekend sees a break, with the little-marketed Punisher: War Zone the only wide release. Cadillac Records and the indie Nobel Son go semi-wide, while Milk expands a bit.