Like little stars.
The gods of Mount Olympus are the new rulers of the weekend box office.
The ancient Greek action remake “Clash of the Titans” debuted at No. 1 with $61.4 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. Adding Thursday night preview screenings, the movie totaled $64.1 million.
Released by Warner Bros., “Clash of the Titans” features “Avatar” star Sam Worthington as demigod hero Perseus and Liam Neeson as his dad, Zeus, king of the Olympian deities.
Opening at No. 2 with $30.2 million was Lionsgate’s sequel “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too?”, reuniting filmmaker Perry with Janet Jackson and other co-stars for another comic drama about eight friends and their relationships.
The previous weekend’s top movie, DreamWorks Animation’s Viking adventure “How to Train Your Dragon,” ran a close third with $29.2 million, raising its 10-day total to $92.3 million.
Miley Cyrus’ teen drama “The Last Song” premiered at No. 4 with $16.2 million. The Disney release raised its total to $25.6 million since opening Wednesday. Written by best-selling author Nicholas Sparks specifically for the “Hannah Montana” star, the movie casts Cyrus as a sullen teen spending the summer with her estranged father.
“Clash of the Titans” continued Hollywood’s hit run of 3-D movies, which has included “How to Train Your Dragon” and the blockbusters “Avatar” and “Alice in Wonderland.”
With $8.3 million, Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” came in at No. 5 for the weekend, raising its domestic total to $309.8 million and its worldwide haul to $722 million.
“If three out of the top five films doesn’t spell a mandate for 3-D, I don’t know what does,” said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com.
Like “Alice in Wonderland,” “Clash of the Titans” was shot in 2-D format and converted to 3-D afterward. Critics gripe that such conversions provide lower-quality 3-D images, but audiences do not seem to mind.
“You can’t tell the difference. A super-technician, somebody who does this for a living, if they look carefully enough, they can find some differences,” said Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros. “I have to tell you, from my own personal experiences, I can’t tell.”
“Clash of the Titans” played on about 6,500 screens at 3,777 theaters, with 1,810 of those screens — or 28 percent — showing it in 3-D. Yet the movie did 52 percent of its business in 3-D format, with fans paying a few dollars more than 2-D tickets cost.
“Why Did I Get Married Too” was Perry’s second-biggest debut, behind last year’s “Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail” with $41 million. Lionsgate, which has distributed all nine of Perry’s movies, had thought his latest might come in around $25 million for the weekend.
“Every time we do one of his movies, I wake up on Saturday and think, why do I always underestimate him?” said David Spitz, head of distribution for Lionsgate. “He’s unbelievable. He knows his audience.”
Cyrus’ “The Last Song” had modest results compared with the last Sparks love story, “Dear John,” which opened with $30.5 million in early February, bumping “Avatar” down a notch after seven weekends at No. 1.
Chuck Viane, head of distribution for Disney, said “Dear John” opened in a less-crowded marketplace the weekend before Valentine’s Day, when women are more in the mood to see a love story.
“The Last Song” held its own among a flurry of other big releases, establishing Cyrus as a box-office draw without her “Hannah Montana” alter-ego, Viane said.
“It unquestionably proves that she can step outside the role and continue to wow them,” Viane said. “She’s becoming a real actress. She’s going to be an important name in this business.”
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Final figures will be released Monday.
1. “Clash of the Titans,” $61.4 million.
2. “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too?”, $30.2 million.
3. “How to Train Your Dragon,” $29.2 million.
4. “The Last Song,” $16.2 million.
5. “Alice in Wonderland,” $8.3 million.
6. “Hot Tub Time Machine,” $8 million.
7. “The Bounty Hunter,” $6.2 million.
8. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” $5.5 million.
9. “She’s Out of My League,” $1.463 million.
10. “Shutter Island,” $1.462 million.
On the Net:
Universal Pictures and Focus Features are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of General Electric Co.; Sony Pictures, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount and Paramount Vantage are divisions of Viacom Inc.; Disney’s parent is The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is a division of The Walt Disney Co.; 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox Atomic are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a consortium of Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group, Sony Corp., Comcast Corp., DLJ Merchant Banking Partners and Quadrangle Group; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC Films is owned by Rainbow Media Holdings, a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corp.; Rogue Pictures is owned by Relativity Media LLC; Overture Films is a subsidiary of Liberty Media Corp.
Like little stars.
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