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Sunday, April 27, 2008

'Baby Mama' beats out 'Harold & Kumar' for top spot, April 25-27, 2008

Two SNL Weekend Update anchors shut down Harold & Kumar 2.0, headlining a fairly strong weekend leading into the first Summer jaunt of the year. Thanks to Universal's Baby Mama and New Line's Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, the top ten films finished a remarkable 34% from last year's comparable frame.

Leading the charge was Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's Baby Mama, which took in an estimated $18.3 million in its opening weekend. Budgeted at $30 million, the Universal comedy averaged a strong $7,184 in 2,543 theaters. The film is the first starring role of Fey's quickly budding career, who also wrote and acted in 2004's Mean Girls. That film opened to $24.4 million on its way to $86 million domestically. Reviews were mildly favorable.

Finishing in second was the New Line sequel Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, which took in an estimated $14.5 million this weekend. The debut was a huge improvement over 2004's theatrical release of Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, which debuted with just $5.5 million on its way to $18.2 million total. That film gained a huge cult following on DVD which prompted this $12 million sequel, one of the last major releases for the studio soon to be eaten up by Warner Bros.

Last week's champ The Forbidden Kingdom fel 47% to an estimated $11.2 million, bringing the Lionsgate release's total to $38.3 million. Budgeted at a hefty $55 million (co-financed with the Weinstein Company), the film will likely rely on the overseas market for profitability. Look for the Jackie Chan-Jet Li actioner to finish with $55 million domestically.

Right behind it in fourth was Universal's comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which slipped just 38% to $11 million, bringing its ten-day take to $35.1 million. Budgeted at a modest $30 million, the film should also finish in the $55-60 million range.

Fox's family film Nim's Island fell a top ten best 20% to $4.5 million, bringing its four week cume to $39 million. Budgeted at $37 million, the Jodie Foster starrer should finish with $50 million domestically.

Rounding out the top ten was Fox's horribly-reviewed suspense thriller Deception, which took in just $2.1 million in its debut, averaging a measley $1,111 in 2,001 theaters. Starring Hugh Jackman, Ewan McGregor and Michelle Williams, the film shouldn't stay in theaters for too long.

Thanks to two decent debuts, the top ten films grossed $76.2 million this weekend, up a commanding 34% from last year's comparable frame, when Disturbia led a stale box office in its third weekend with $9 million. It was down 11% from 2006 when RV debuted with $16.4 million.

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