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Sunday
Aug242008

Box Office - 'Tropic Thunder' Repeats, 'House Bunny' Outmuscles 'Death Race'

We thought it would be a pretty good race for the top spot at the U.S. box office this weekend, but we didn't expect The House Bunny to crash the party. As it is, the new comedy nearly overtook Tropic Thunder for the crown but wound up in second place overall.

The big disappointments this weekend were clearly Death Race, the Jason Statham vehicle that was a fairly distant third place, and The Rocker, the new comedy starring Rainn Wilson that finished out of the top ten and wouldn't have made that list even if you counted its totals from Wednesday and Thursday.

Tropic Thunder only slipped 37%, according to Box Office Mojo, which means in all likelihood that it was competition with The Olympics last weekend and not widespread disinterest in the movie that reduced its debut audience. The film will most likely make its money back, but you won't be able to call it a hit because of its near-$100 million price tag.

On the other side of the ledger, Star Wars: The Clone Wars took a massive tumble, dropping nearly 70% of its audience in its second weekend. As of Sunday, the animated spin-off has only made $26 million, which looks like it'll be about 65% of the film's domestic total. You'd have to think Lucas and Fox aren't too pleased with a total gross in the $42 - $45 million range, but that's the way it's shaping up.

In Dark Knight Watch 2008, the second-biggest movie ever took in another $10 million in its sixth weekend, for a U.S. total of $489 million. The worldwide total now sits at $870 million. The record-breaker is still three million bucks ahead of the $535 million pace we predicted by late October. It should enjoy a very strong Labor Day weekend, too, since there won't really be any movies - new releases or carryovers - generating a lot of interest. In fact, I'd be surprised if it finished outside the top five next weekend, and I don't anticipate its gross over the holiday weekend to slip much, if at all.

The Top Five:

1 - Tropic Thunder ($16.1 million)

2 - The House Bunny ($15.1 million)

3 - Death Race ($12.3 million)

4 - The Dark Knight ($10.3 million)

5 - Star Wars: The Clone Wars ($5.6 million)

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