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Sunday, February 24, 2008

'Vantage Point' tops Oscar weekend with $23.8m, Feb. 22-24, 2008

Like Oscar night there were few surprises at the box office, with the weekend's only wide release debut Vantage Point pulling in a strong $23.8 million to lead the way. Averaging $7,558 in 3,149 theaters, the $40 million budgeted Sony thriller struggled to impress critics, earning just a 34% recommendation rating from those polled by Rottentomatoes.com. Given its modest budget though, look for the film to finish out domestically with a profitable $55-60 million.

Last week's champ Jumper slipped 53% to an estimated $12.65 million, barely edging out Paramount's The Spiderwick Chronicles by $500,000 if estimates hold. Budgeted at $85 million, the Fox sci-fi actioner has grossed $56 million in two weeks, and should finish with $80-85 million domestically.

Finishing just behind Jumper in third was Paramount's children's book adaptation The Spiderwick Chronicles, which fell just 33% to $12.6 million. Despite its disappointing debut last week, the $90 million fantasy pic is clearly showing legs at the box office, pulling in $43.6 million in two weeks. Given its early staying power, the film should be on pace to finish with $85 million domestically, putting it right in line with last year's well-reviewed fantasy pic Bridge to Terabithia, which pulled in tidy $82 million for Disney.

Disney's urban dance sequel Step Up 2 the Streets fell 48% to $9.8 million, bringing its two week total to a solid $41.4 million. The film should finish with $55 million by the end of its run.

Among other debuts, Michel Gondry's comedy Be Kind, Rewind took in $4.1 million in seventh, averaging $5,012 in just 808 theaters. Starring Jack Black and Mos Def, the film enjoyed mostly positive reviews from critics.

Although Best Picture nominee Juno came away with only one of four Oscars on Sunday night (Best Original Screenplay by Diablo Cody), it has clearly been the most financially successful of the five Best Pictures, adding another $4.1 million this weekend. In 12 weeks, the teen pregnancy comedy has amassed an astounding $130 million for Fox Searchlight.

Opening outside of the top 10 this weekend was Larry the Cable Guy's Witless Protection, which grossed an estimated $2.1 million in the No. 13 spot. Released by Lionsgate Films, the poorly reviewed comedy averaged just $1,643 in 1,333 theaters.

Despite the strong opening from Vantage Point, the top ten films grossed just $84.9 million, down 11% from last year's comparable frame when Ghost Rider held onto the top spot with $20.1 million.

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