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Monday, April 7, 2008

'21' wins second straight hand with $15.1m, April 4-6, 2008

Three new wide releases failed to dethrone two-week champ 21 as the box office continued its disturbingly poor showing at the start of the month leading into the lucrative summer season. George Clooney's poorly-received Leatherheads debuted in second with a disappointing $13.5 million, followed by the Jodie Foster family-comedy Nim's Island with $13.3 million, and the horror entry The Ruins with $7.8 million. With no high-flying pre-summer hits to prop up a sluggish 2008 (last year had Blades of Glory while 2006 saw the release of Ice Age: The Meltdown), the top ten films fell a disturbing 27% from last year's comparable frame.

Sony's $35 million budgeted blackjack drama 21 ran the table for the second straight weekend with an estimated $15.1 million, falling just 37% from its debut a week ago. In ten days the Kevin Spacey starrer has grossed an impressive $46.5 million, and the film looks on pace to finish with $80 million domestically.

Universal spent a rather pricey $58 million bringing George Clooney and Renee Zellweger together in their period football comedy Leatherheads, and after this weekend they're probably regretting that decision. Poorly timed, poorly marketed and poorly reviewed (just a 54% recommendation rating from critics polled by Rottentomatoes.com), the film debuted with just $13.5 million, averaging $4,870 in 2,769 theaters. Universal reported that three out of every four ticket buyers for Leatherheads was over 30, a remarkably high number that doesn't bode well for the film's long-term future. Look for the film to finish well short of its production budget domestically.

Fox's PG-rated family adventure Nim's Island opened in third with an even more disappointing $13.3 million, averaging just $3,786 in an ultrawide 3,513 theaters. Budgeted at $37 million, the Jodie Foster-Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) starrer trended largely toward the female demographic. Reviews were mostly poor.

The year's biggest release so far, Fox/Blue Sky Studio's Horton Hears a Who, fell 49% to an estimated $9.1 million bringing its four week cume to $131.1 million. After debuting close to 2002's Ice Age the $85m budgeted animated pic is now running 7% behind that film's comparable four-week total. Ice Age took in $176.3 million total by the end of its domestic run. Look for Horton to finish with $160 million domestically. DreamWorks' horror pic The Ruins debuted in fifth, averaging a weak $2,788 in 2,812 theaters. Distributed by Paramount, the R-rated release most likely won't make it very far into summer.

Rounding out the top ten was the current global box office leader 10,000 BC, which finished the weekend with an estimated $2.8 million. In five weeks of release the $105 million budgeted prehistoric actioner has amassed $89.3 million domestically, and an incredible $153.4 million overseas, bringing its worldwide total to $243 million.

In limited release, Martin Scorsese's Rolling Stone concert/doc Shine a Light took in $1.5 million in 276 theaters, averaging a decent $5,475 per theater. The Paramount Classics film played in over 90 IMAX theaters.

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