'Elm Street' leads weekend boxoffice

Horror film takes in $32.2 million; "Furry" gets $6.5 million

Warner Bros.' remake of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" scared up an estimated $32.2 million during the weekend to top the domestic boxoffice with frightful ease.

DreamWorks Animation's leggy 3D adventure "How to Train Your Dragon" puffed into second place with $10.8 million in its sixth frame, as the Paramount-distributed pic piled cumulative boxoffice to $192.4 million.

Elsewhere, Summit Entertainment's family comedy "Furry Vengeance" opened more meekly than expected, with just $6.5 million in fifth place. But two holdover films marked solid sophomore sessions: CBS Films' Jennifer Lopez starrer "The Back-Up Plan" rang up $7.2 million in fourth place, just 41% less than a week earlier for cume of $23 million; Warners' comics-based military actioner "The Losers" dipped 36% from its frosh frame for $6 million sixth place with an $18.1 million cume.

On an industrywide basis, the $102 million weekend marked a big 36% downtick from the comparable weekend last year. That's largely because the year-ago session was the first frame of summer 2009 and boasted the $85 million debut of Fox's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."

Limited openers during the weekend included Michael Caine starrer "Harry Brown," which IDP/Samuel Goldwyn unspooled in 19 theaters in four cities to fetch $180,957, or an encouraging $9,525 per venue. The gang-themed drama about a gun-wielding senior citizen will expand into six additional markets in two weeks.

Sony Pictures Classics' comedy "Please Give," directed by Nicole Holofcener ("Friends with Money"), debuted in three New York locations and two in L.A. and grossed $128,696, or an auspicious $25,739 per site.

IFC Films drew contrasting results when it opened a pair of films with solo runs in New York: Horror pic "Human Centipede" fetched an impressive $13,500 a week before a scheduled creep into top 10 markets, but romantic drama "Mercy" could see a rapid detour into DVD after grossing just $1,700.

CFI's Ed Harris starrer "Touching Home" grabbed $47,382 from three inaugural runs for an auspicious per-screen average of $15,794.

Among notable expansions, Anchor Bay's Andy Garcia starrer "City Island" added192 playdates for a total 269 and grossed $756,000. That represented a middling $2,810 per engagement, as the dramedy's cume climbed to $2.1 million.

Meantime, the dreamy "Nightmare" bow exceeded even the far end of pre-release projections for the New Line-produced film, a remake of the first of a string of "Nightmare" frightfests and franchise spin-offs.

Marking a first feature credit for music video helmer Samuel Bayer, the R-rated pic stars Jackie Earle Haley as the comically twisted killer Freddy Krueger. Opening audiences were comprised 50% of males, with 60% of patrons under age 25.

"The fan base just came flying out with the midnight shows Thursday night, when we did $1.6 million," Warners distribution president Dan Fellman said. "That was the biggest horror midnight gross ever and was incorporated into our Friday."

Roger Kumble ("Just Friends") directed "Vengeance," in which Brendan Fraser plays a real estate developer attacked by irate woodland creatures. Co-produced by Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi, the PG-rated pic drew audiences skewing 57% female and almost entirely comprised of family patrons.

"Younger children and their families are responding well to the film," Summit distribution president Richie Fay said. "However, we had hoped for a stronger opening weekend."

Looking ahead, the 2010 summer boxoffice season starts Friday with the release of Paramount's comics-spawned action sequel "Iron Man 2."

Nobody has dared to place another wide-opener opposite the Robert Downey Jr. starrer, which is expected to kick-start the all-important releasing season with a super-sized debut. "Iron Man 2" bowed in many foreign markets during the past weekend to maximize its pre-World Cup play period.
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