In Mike Judge's de-evolution satire Idiocracy, the #1 movie 1,000 years from now is Ass, a feature-length shot of a bare, flatulent behind that wins 8 Oscars, including Best Screenplay. This weekend, America had a chance to scrape its knuckles to the floor by choosing either Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, a gratuitous "prequel" to a bad remake of a horror classic, or Employee Of The Month, a crude comedy staked on the dubious talents of Dane Cook and Jessica Simpson. But while those movies did disturbingly well for early October, the weekend belonged to The Departed, Martin Scorsese's triumphant return to the crime genre and, perhaps not coincidentally, his best-reviewed movie since GoodFellas. Expect the dumbing-down to continue next week when The Grudge 2 comes out, but this small victory is worth savoring for a few days. The Queen, Shortbus, Little Children, and The Last King Of Scotland all performed strongly in limited release. Here's the Top Ten:

1. The Departed: $27 mil.
2. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning: $19.1 mil.
3. Open Season: $16 mil.
4. Employee Of The Month: $11.8 mil.
5. The Guardian: $9.6 mil.
6. Jackass: Number Two: $6.4 mil.
7. School For Scoundrels: $3.4 mil.
8. Gridiron Gang: $2.3 mil.
9. Jet Li's Fearless: $2.2 mil.
10. The Illusionist: $1.8 mil.

For a more detailed breakdown of the numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.