Next weekend will be all sorts of chaos as Avatar -- which many early reviews, including ours, have regarded as legitimately spectacular -- makes its mega-wide-release bow, with only Did You Hear About the Morgans? as counter-programming. (If anyone wants to take a stab at predicting an opening weekend number, please do; the issue of 3D theaters makes this a little tricky, but I'm going with $130 million.) This weekend was correspondingly quiet, with only the expansion of Disney's The Princess and the Frog and the debut of Clint Eastwood's Invictus to cover.

After a teaser release on just a couple screens, The Princess and the Frog went wide this weekend and came up with $25 million, which is just a bit stronger than Disney's last major "traditional" animation release, Brother Bear, six years ago. (Of course opening weekend standards are a bit different now, too.) I expected a heftier debut, but the movie is likely to stick around for a while, especially as good word-of-mouth spreads, and since it probably won't take too much of a hit from Avatar.

$9 million for Invictus is pretty much on the money; that's exactly the business that Changeling did a couple years ago, and Invictus has the same sort of prestige appeal. (I don't think anyone expected Invictus to replicate the performance of Eastwood's crowdpleaser Gran Torino.) It's a lukewarm number, which may be a sign that the movie isn't going to soar, Oscar-wise, though of course it's always foolish to count out Clint.

Speaking of Oscars, The Blind Side hit $150 million this weekend, and I'm starting to wonder if it might not sneak into the Best Picture 10, somewhat against the odds (Sandra Bullock certainly has a decent shot at a nom). And Up in the Air continues to perform exceptionally well in limited release -- and has also started topping some Oscar prognosticators' lists.

The chart after the jump.



1 - The Princess and the Frog (Disney) - $25.00 ($7,280 ) - $27.88
2 - The Blind Side (Warner Bros.) - $15.45 ($4,560) - $150.21
3 - Invictus (Warner Bros. ) - $9.09 ($4,275) - $9.09
4 - The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Summit) - $8.00 ($2,201) - $267.36
5 - A Christmas Carol (Disney) - $6.87 ($2,861) - $124.46
6 - Brothers (Lionsgate) - $5.00 ($2,395) - $17.40
7 - 2012 (Sony) - $4.40 ($2,394) - $155.33
8 - Old Dogs (Disney) - $4.39 ($1,423) - $39.98
9 - Armored (Screen Gems) - $3.50 ($1,824) - $11.75
10 - Ninja Assassin (Warner Bros.) - $2.71 ($1,290) - $34.31
11 - Up in the Air (Paramount) - $2.45 ($34,028) - $4.04

Next week: Avatar, like I said. Get ready.