Paramount's CLOVERFIELD (with vfx from Double Negative and Tippett Studio) devoured the box office competition for the first three days of the MLK holiday weekend (Jan. 20), boasting the best January opening ever with an estimated $40M. Meanwhile, Fox's 27 DRESSES debuted in second place with $22.7M. Last week's winner, THE BUCKET LIST, followed in third for Warner Bros. with $14M for a cume of $41.5M. Fox Searchlight's Oscar-contending JUNO settled for fourth with $9.9M and an impressive tally of $85M. Fifth place belonged to Screen Gems' FIRST SUNDAY with $7.8M and a cume of $28.4M. The sixth place finisher was NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS (with vfx from Asylum and Fusion CI Studios), which dug up another $7.609M for Buena Vista, raising its total to $197.4M. Overture's MAD MONEY debuted in seventh with $7.6M. Fox's ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS (with vfx from Rhythm & Hues) slipped to eighth with $6.9M to bring its terrific tally to $196.2M. Warner Bros.' I AM LEGEND (with vfx from Sony Pictures Imageworks) staked the ninth spot with $4.8M for a lively cume of $247.4M. And holding 10th again was Golden Globe winner ATONEMENT from Focus Features with $4.7M for a cume of $31.8M.
On the animation front, Universal's VeggieTales movie, THE PIRATES WHO DON'T DO ANYTHING, managed only $2.8M in its second week for a tally of $7.7M, while Sony Pictures Classics' Oscar-contending PERSEPOLIS added $281,000, raising its total to $910,000. Box office information obtained from boxofficemojo.com.