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Monday, April 20, 2009

'17 Again' tops with $24.4m, April 17-19, 2009

The box office continued its incredible run through 2009 with another big weekend as Zac Efron's comedy 17 Again dominated the top ten in its debut, out-pacing second place opener State of Play by nearly $10 million. In a distant sixth was Jason Statham's actioner Crank High Voltage. Overall, the top ten films finished up a hefty 21% from last year's comparable frame when The Forbidden Kingdom topped with $21.4 million. It was up an even more remarkable 40% from 2007 when Disturbia held the top spot with $13 million.

Leading all films this weekend was Zac Efron's family comedy 17 Again, debuting with a strong $23.7 million and relegating Russell Crowe and his State of Play to a distant second place finish. The Warner pic averaged an impressive $7,288 in 3,255 theaters, as the young actor broadened his audience reach with his first ever PG-13 rated picture.

Compared with similarly themed "body swapping" pictures, 17 Again posted the biggest debut of the bunch. 1988's Big opened to $8.2 million on its way to $115 million total. Jennifer Garner's 13 Going on 30 bowed with $21 million on its way to $57 million domestic. 2003's Freaky Friday debuted with $22.2 million, finishing with $110.2 million.

Debuting in second was Russell Crowe's thriller State of Play, which finished with $14 million in 2,803 theaters. Co-starring Ben Affleck and Helen Mirren, the well-reviewed Universal pic averaged $5,030 per theater. The debut was slightly better than Crowe's last outing, 2008's Body of Lies which bowed with $12.8 million on its way to $39.3 million domestic.

Disney's Hannah Montana The Movie finished in third with $13.4 million, tumbling a massive 61% in its sophomore frame. In ten days the Miley Cyrus starrer has grossed $56.1 million.

Paramount/DreamWorks Animation's animated hit comedy Monsters vs. Aliens added another $13.2 million to $163 million total, becoming the top grossing film of 2009. The film has quickly become the sixth biggest movie in DreamWorks Animation history, behind the Shrek trilogy, last summer's Kung Fu Panda with $215.4 million and 2005's Madagascar with $193.2 million.

Rounding out the top five was Universal's Fast & Furious, bringing in $12.3 million in its third weekend of release. In 17 days the $85 million budgeted pic has amassed $136.7 million. Internationally, the Vin Diesel starrer has been even more powerful, totaling $145 million and bringing its worldwide take to $281.7 million, easily the highest-grossing pic in franchise history.

Jason Statham may be the hardest working man in showbiz, even if he doesn't have big numbers to show for it. Starring in his tenth film in less than 3 years, the actor's latest effort Crank High Voltage debuted with a weak $6.5 million in sixth, averaging just $2,928 in 2,223 theaters. The R-rated pic opened below the original 2006 actioner Crank, which bowed with $10.5 million. The opening was significantly below last year's Death Race ($12.6 million). Reviews were, surprisingly, mostly positive.

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