Early box-office estimates put the weekend's only major new movie--Eddie Murphy's comedy "The Distinguished Gentleman"--in second place. But when Monday's final figures were released, it had fallen to fourth with $10.6 million in ticket sales. It wasn't a great opening by the inflated standards of this holiday season--when movies like "Home Alone 2" already have grabbed a first-weekend gross of $33 million, or "Aladdin" and "The Bodyguard" opened to $20 million-plus grosses that well surpassed "Gentleman," even when accounting for the surge of the Thanksgiving weekend.
Nevertheless, the Murphy movie distinguished itself with a solid opening gross if gauged by normal standards. The only hitch in that kind of thinking is that this holiday season is anything but normal: Overall grosses are continuing well ahead of the pace this time a year ago, and "Home Alone 2" has grossed an extraordinary $90 million in 17 days.