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‘Up’ Keeps Floating, ‘Pelham 123’ in 3rd Place

Comedy is the first summer movie to stay No. 1 for two consecutive weeks.

Sunday Update:

There’s no cure for "The Hangover." The R-rated comedy became the first summer movie to remain No. 1 for two weeks in a row this weekend. 


Warner Bros. raunchy comedy grossed $33.4 million this weekend, narrowly beating Pixar’s "Up" again by only $2.9 million.  


Sony/Columbia’s "Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" followed with $25 million — a figure in line with the studio’s expectations. "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" followed with $9.6 million and "Land of the Lost" rounded out the top five with $9.1 million. 

 

Paramount’s "Imagine That" floundered, grossing only $5.7 million in sixth place. The studio had predicted the family film starring Eddie Murphy would debut with $10 million.

 

Weekend Estimates from Hollywood.com:

The Hangover – $33.4 m

Up – $30.5 m

Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 – $25 m

Night at the Museum 2 – $9.6 m

Land of the Lost – $9.1 m

Imagine That – $5.7 m

Star Trek – $5.6 m

Terminator Salvation – $4.6 m

Angels & Demons – $4.2 m

Drag Me to Hell – $3.8 m

My Life in Ruins – $1.7 m

X-Men Origins: Wolverine – $915K

 

Saturday Update:

"The Hangover" is hanging onto No. 1, grossing $10.5 million on Friday. Ticket sales for the R-rated comedy slipped 38 percent. It’s cumulative gross stands at $82.4 million.


"Up" followed with $8.9 million on Friday — just a 33 percent drop in its third week of release. 


"The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" debuted with $8.3 million and is poised to take third place at the end of the weekend. The gross is director Tony Scott’s biggest opening day. 


"Imagine That" grossed $1.8 million on Friday, landing in sixth place. 

 

Thursday:

 

Denzel Washington and John Travolta will take aim at strong holdovers “The Hangover” and "Up” this weekend as Columbia’s R-rated “The Taking of Pelham 123” opens in 3,000 theaters.

 

A remake of the 1974 thriller starring Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw, “Pelham” marks the first time the two stars have shared the screen and the fourth time Washington has collaborated with director Tony Scott.

 

Meanwhile, Paramount will court the family audience with “Imagine That,” starring Eddie Murphy, in 2,800 theaters this weekend.

 

Unseating “Hangover” and “Up” from their top spots will be a daunting task: “Hangover” has grossed another $14.2 million since its $45 million debut last weekend, and “Up,” which is hardly the same demo as "Pelham," is just as unstoppable, having grossed $152 million in only 13 days.

 

Still, Columbia is predicting that “Pelham” will finish the weekend in the mid-20s, which is where “Up” and “Hangover” will fall if their ticket sales fall 50 percent from last week.

 

Washington’s “American Gangster,” co-starring Russell Crowe, opened with $44 million in 2007. “Deja Vu,” directed by “Pelham” director Tony Scott, took in $20 million in 2006, and “Inside Man” debuted with $29 million the same year.

 

Scott and Washington’s ‘Man on Fire" grossed $23 million in 2004. “The Manchurian Candidate,” another thriller remake, debuted with $20 million, also in ’04.

 

Travolta’s last thriller, 2004’s “Ladder 49,” debuted with $22 million. That year’s “The Punisher” opened with $13 million, and “Basic,” co-starring Samuel L. Jackson, grossed only $11.5 million on its debut weekend in 2003.

 

Fortunately for “Pelham,” “Hangover” reminded box-office experts that an R-rated movie can outdo the PG and PG-13 fare dominating the marketplace. But “Pelham” will attract a slightly older crowd that is less likely to rush out to see films on their opening weekend.

 

However, audiences over 30 are drawn to the theater by good word of mouth and reviews, which could lead to good multiple for “Pelham.”

 

"Pelham" opens overseas in mid-July to August. Sony has already tapped into the overseas market in a big way this season with “Angels & Demons,” which has grossed more than any other film worldwide ($409 million).

 

“Imagine” will aim for fourth place. A studio executive who requested anonymity said Paramount expects the family fantasy to take in only $10 million this weekend. “Imagine” currently rates 31 percent on RottenTomatoes.

 

Eddie Murphy’s PG movies have opened with mixed results. “Doctor Doolittle” opened at No. 1 with $29 million in 1998; “Daddy Day Care” took in $27 million to land at No. 2 in 2003.

 

But Murphy’s more recent track record includes the $100 million “The Adventures of Pluto Nash,” rated PG-13, which grossed only $2 million on its opening weekend in 2002. And last summer’s $60 million “Meet Dave” opened with $5 million.

 

In the indie arena, Focus Features will expand Sam Mendes’ “Away We Go” into 45 theaters. The romantic comedy starring John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph has grossed over $130,000 on four screens so far.

 

Vivendi Entertainment will also attempt to garner family audiences: The company will release the PG-rated “Call of the Wild 3D” in 14 theaters.

 

American Zoetrope will debut Francis Ford Coppola’s latest “Tetro” in limited release.