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Weekend Box Office: $43 million of fail?

As widely expected, the DreamWorks animated adventure How To Train Your Dragon opened at #1 last weekend, far outpacing the field with $43.3 million over the three-day frame. There are two ways of looking at that result: 1. $43.3 million is a lot of money. 2. $43.3 million is a disappointment in relation to cost (budget: $165 million), precedent (DreamWorks’ Monsters vs. Aliens made about $60 million around the same time last year), and very fine notices (HTTYD has a solid 73 Metacritic score, compared to Monsters’ more tepid 56). The key will be staying power: Good word-of-mouth may sustain it over the coming weeks and months, especially in absence of good alternatives for the kids. The week’s other major release, the raunchy time-traveling comedy Hot Tub Time Machine, pulled a Snakes On A Plane, failing to covert its success as an Internet meme into cash. It finished third with $13.7 million, just behind Alice In Wonderland, which was in its fourth week.

In limited release, Atom Egoyan’s erotic drama Chloe failed to generate much interest in arthouse circles, collecting just $2863 per screen on 350 screens. What a sad, sad day for nudity.

For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.


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