Jim Carrey won the face-off with Will Smith as Warner Bros' comedy Yes Man debuted at number one in the pre-Christmas weekend on an estimated $18.2m, but it was a subdued weekend as storms battered the North-East.

Overall box office fell off 44% against the same period last year as the top 12 titles amassed $82.8m. Year-to-date box office is reported at roughly $9.24bn and the 2007 record of $9.7m looks safe.

Smith had to settle for second place as the drama Seven Pounds launched through Sony on $16m, one place ahead of Universal's new animated feature The Tale Of Despereaux on $10.2m.

Fox's sci-fi remake and last weekend's champion The Day The Earth Stood Still dropped three places to fourth on $10.2m for a low-key $48.6m running total after two weekends as the comedy Four Christmases in fifth place crossed $100m for Warner Bros in its fourth weekend with $7.7m for $100.2m.

Bolt in seventh place is approaching $100m for Buena Vista and should reach the milestone within a week after adding $4.3m for $95m in its fifth. Fox Searchlight's Oscar hopeful Slumdog Millionaire climbed three places to eighth on $3.2m for $12.1m after five.

Searchlight had more good news as its other awards contender The Wrestler with Mickey Rourke opened in four Los Angeles and New York theatres for an excellent $209,474 and $52,369 average.

Next weekend's wide releases are: Buena Vista's family title Bedtime Stories starring Adam Sandler; Fox's comedy Marley & Me with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson; Lionsgate/Odd Lot's comic book adaptation The Spirit with Samuel L Jackson; UA's wartime thriller Valkyrie with Tom Cruise; and DreamWorks-Paramount's sprawling epic The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett;

Estimated Top 10 North America Dec 19-21, 2008
Film (Dist)/Int'l dist/Est wkd gross/Est total to date

1 (-) Yes Man (Warner Bros) Warner Bros Pictures Int'l $18.2m -
2 (-) Seven Pounds (Sony) SPRI $16m -
3 (-) The Tale Of Despereaux (Universal) UPI $10.2m -
4 (1) The Day The Earth Stood Still (Fox) Fox Int'l $10.2m $48.6m
5 (2) Four Christmases (Warner Bros) NLI $7.7m $100.2m
6 (3) Twilight (Summit Ent) Summit Int'l $5.2m $158.5m
7 (4) Bolt (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $4.3m $95m
8 (11) Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight) Pathe Int'l $3.2m $12.1m
9 (5) Australia (Fox) Fox Int'l $2.3m $41.9m
10 (6) Quantum Of Solace (Sony/MGM) SPRI $2.2m $161.3m