Nicole Sperling
December 12, 2008 AT 11:49 PM EST

Twentieth Century Fox’s The Day the Earth Stood Still proves once again that it’s never a good idea to mess with a classic. With most critics calling the Keanu Reeves-starring, Scott Derrickson-directing film a far cry from the original (EW’s Owen Gleiberman gave it a C-), it’s unlikely the movie will become the holiday box office smash the studio was hoping for. However, with audiences hankering for a big, effects-riddled actioner this holiday season, Earth‘s opening weekend should still be respectable, if not as earth-shattering as I’m sure the studio had hoped. Here’s my guess to the weekend’s Top Five:

1.  The Day the Earth Stood Still — $36 million

Insiders are all over the map predicting the opening for this remake. But with special effects-hungry kids closing in on their holiday vacations, it should do pretty well. Earth won’t match the numbers the opener this weekend last year (the $77 million I Am Legend), but will probably far exceed the $20 million range, too. And with a budget of $80 million, Fox is looking like they’ll have a nice, early Christmas present.

2. Four Christmases — $9 million

Maybe everyone dreads reuniting with their families over the holiday season, and that’s why Four Christmases is making so much money. Regardless, Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn are certainly earning their keep with this one, grossing $73 million in just two weeks of release. After claiming the top spot those past two weeks, the movie will drop to No. 2 this week, but should still perform mightily this frame.

3. Twilight — $7 million

At $141 million and counting, Twilight is a bona fide success. And now, with the drama over the director shift between Twilight and its sequel New Moon, curiosity may just get the best of those holdouts who have not yet ventured into the theaters. It will likely lose another 50 percent off its box office this frame, but with a negative cost of $37 million, who’s counting?

4. Bolt — $5 million

Disney’s latest may play younger than it’s PG-rating suggests, but it’s still a hit with critics and families alike. It’s doubtful that the under-the-radar animated film Delgo — which opens today, virtually buzzless in 1,800 theaters — will impact Bolt‘s gross in any way.

5.  Nothing Like the Holidays — $4 million

Overture Films is putting out their own Christmas-themed film starring what seems like every working Latino actor in Hollywood: John Leguizamo, Freddy Rodriguez, Luis Guzman, Jay Hernandez, and Alfred Molina. The film takes on the familiar premise of a far-flung family’s week-long return home for the holidays. Think Home for the Holidays, The Family Stone, etc. And they are opening the movie rather wide, in 1,500 theaters. With middling reviews, it will be interesting to see if the movie can do some business — especially with Hispanic audiences — a highly coveted, but hard-to-reach audience, who may be more likely to step into The Day the Earth Stood Still for their weekend entertainment.

All in all, expect the weekend to be down from last year at this time. After all, we’ve got to wait one more week for Will Smith, and there is still shopping to be done.

More box office news:

Four Christmases wins slow weekend
Box Office Preview: Can Twilight hold off Four Christmases and Australia?

Twilight sinks its teeth into a blockbuster debut
Quantum of Solace stirs up a win

Holiday films to receive season’s greetings, beatings

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