With Father Time currently in lockdown after being picked up over the weekend for a parole-violating DUI, and the tragic discovery of the New Year's baby in a dumpster behind Bar Lubitsch (besides a crushed top hat and filthy sash, doing just fine), it seems as if the countdown to 2008 comes under less than ideal circumstances. Still, you can't stop the march of progress, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the weekend box office numbers:
1. National Treasure: Book of Secrets - $35.6 million
Boasting another week at the top of the box office, Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer have again managed to spin Nicolas Cage relieving himself on a pile of American history books into a pop culture phenomenon. Curious as to how Dame Helen Mirren fit into the cloak-and-dagger proceedings, we had a chance to catch Secrets over the weekend, where we were thrilled to learn that [Spoiler alert! Spoiler 'round the bend! God be with all ye who travel past this point unawares that spoilers be awaitin' ye, arhh!] the silver-tressed sex goddess had been retained to reprise her Oscar-winning turn as Queen Elizabeth II, showing off her impressive aim with a stag musket and command over a pack of bloodthirsty attack-Corgies in the scene where Cage and friends break into Buckingham Palace.
2. Alvin and the Chipmunks - $30,000,000
The unassuming tale of a disheveled celebrity Eastsider's singing-rodent infestation has proven to be a force to be reckoned with: Its $30 mil weekend take brings its total to $142.4 mil, leaving it poised to crack the top ten grossing films of the year. As if you had to be told, that makes chipmunks 2008's penguins. Prepare for approximately two dozen chipmunk-related family projects to fast-track into development, including Look Who's Talking Like a Chipmunk, Flushed Away 2: Now Chipmunks Are Being Flushed Away!, and Verminy Feet.
3. I Am Legend - $27,500,000
As we refuse to see this movie, we're left with nothing but Will Smith-loving-Hitler jokes. How many Hitler-loving Will Smiths does it take to change a lightbulb? Two! One to change it, the other to reprogram the broken one.
4. Charlie Wilson's War - $11,768,000
5. Juno - $10,300,000
In the "sophisticated commercial choice for grownups" category, audiences looking for fulfillment through witty banter and mature themes who may have already caught Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem turned to saucy Sorkinisms and Diabloesque drollery for their self-satisfied weekend moviegoing experiences.
13. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story - $3.7 million
Still languishing at the box office, the music-bio satire with the in-your-face For Your Consideration campaign even has its star Jenna Fischer blogging about its flaccid-penis attributes on MySpace: "It's very raunchy and sexy and the humor is hard core. Think 40-Year-Old Virgin but with full-frontal male nudity too. That's right ladies, we have penis."