You would think that December would be a good month for the wide release of animated features, especially those targeted for the whole family. But get this: the animated movie with the highest opening weekend ever is 'Beavis & Butt-Head Do America,' a PG-13 cartoon that sold $20.1 million worth of tickets the weekend before Christmas in 1996.

In one of the film's typical exchanges, an adult asks the title characters if they have a match? 'Yeah, my butt and your, uh, butt. Uh huh huh,' says the quick-witted Butt-Head. My kids helped 'B & B-H' set that record and I haven't let them forget it.

But the record is about to fall. After a platform release, Disney's revamped 'Frog Prince' fairytale 'The Princess and the Frog' expands from two to 3,300 theaters and the studio's first hand-drawn animated feature in five years arrives on a wave of rave reviews.

You would think that December would be a good month for the wide release of animated features, especially those targeted for the whole family. But get this: the animated movie with the highest opening weekend ever is 'Beavis & Butt-Head Do America,' a PG-13 cartoon that sold $20.1 million worth of tickets the weekend before Christmas in 1996.

In one of the film's typical exchanges, an adult asks the title characters if they have a match? 'Yeah, my butt and your, uh, butt. Uh huh huh,' says the quick-witted Butt-Head. My kids helped 'B & B-H' set that record and I haven't let them forget it.

But the record is about to fall. After a platform release, Disney's revamped 'Frog Prince' fairytale 'The Princess and the Frog' expands from two to 3,300 theaters and the studio's first hand-drawn animated feature in five years arrives on a wave of rave reviews.

Set in an idealized, jazz-age 1930s New Orleans, 'Princess' is a musical in the vein of past Disney hits 'The Beauty and the Beast,' 'Little Mermaid' and 'Aladdin,' except that Pixar-regular Randy Newman did the music in lieu of perennial Oscar winner Alan Menken, who's busy on another Disney animated feature called 'Enchanted.'

The dearth of animated December releases and the poor openings of the few there have been makes it hard to forecast how well 'Princess' will do. Given that Disney's last December release -- the 2000 'The Emperor's New Groove' did just $9.8 million -- you have to assume they know something we don't about the new movie.

Anyway, 'The Princess and the Frog' should easily win the weekend, knocking the season's two biggest hits -- 'New Moon' and 'The Blind Side' -- to the side of the road. 'Blind Side' business dropped nearly 50 percent from its second to its third weekend and it should drop about that much more this week. I look for it to do about $12 million, which ought to be just enough to claim the second spot on the chart.

'Invictus,' Clint Eastwood's latest picture -- and 30th as a director -- opens in 2,250 theaters and with Morgan Freeman playing lookalike Nelson Mandela, it could capture a hunk of change from adult moviegoers and sneak past 'Blind Side' for second place. But I'm doubtful that it will do much more than $10 million.

'New Moon' has just about worn out its long welcome and should settle into fourth with around $8 million. Right behind it, or maybe in front of it, will be 'Disney's A Christmas Carol.' Though the movie will be turning over IMAX theaters to Jim Cameron's 'Avatar' next week, its Dickens characters and positive Christmas theme should make it the perfect break for mall shoppers. It could do $8 million, maybe as much as $10 million.

Holdovers from last week are likely to stall because of their decidedly un-holiday themes. 'Brothers,' a romantic triangle about a woman, her presumably dead soldier husband and her husband's brother, will do well to score $6 million over its second weekend, and 'Armored,' a heist movie about a traumatized Iraq vet, may do as much as no more than $5 million.

The most closely-watched train will be Jason Reitman's 'Up in the Air,' which expands from 15 theaters to nearly 60. The movie grabbed $79,000 from each of those 15 screens last weekend and it will break into the top 10 if it does better than $3 million and one of the holdovers -- most likely, 'Ninja Assassin' -- does less.

Here's our handicap:

1. 'The Princess and the Frog,' 3,300 theaters, $25 million.

2. 'The Blind Side,' 3,326, $12 million-13 million.

3. 'Invictus,' 2,250, $10 million-12 million.

4. 'New Moon,' 4,125, $8 million-9 million.

5. 'Disney's A Christmas Carol,' 2,546, $8 million.

6. 'Brothers,' 2,088, $6 million.

7. 'Armored,' 1,915, $5 million-6 million.

8. 'Old Dogs,' 3,425, $4 million-5 million.

9. '2012,' 3,220, $4 million.

10. 'Ninja Assassin,' 2,503, $3 million.