'Kick-Ass' overtakes 'Dragon'

Monday's figures put pic atop weekend domestic rankings

For the second consecutive session, Sunday boxoffice estimates failed to crown the right film as weekend boxoffice champion.

This time, it was Lionsgate's action comedy "Kick-Ass" overtaking "How to Train Your Dragon" from DreamWorks Animation and Paramount. Final official data released by Rentrak on Monday showed that "Kick-Ass" rung up $19.8 million, compared with a $19.6 million weekend haul for "Dragon."

That reversed the pics atop the domestic rankings. On Sunday, Paramount had estimated that "Dragon" would ring up $20 million through Sunday, while Lionsgate penciled in $19.8 million.

As things turned out, Paramount had been overly optimistic about the Sunday haul for "Dragon." A leggy $158 million domestic grosser, "Dragon" still posted an impressive fourth-frame tally, well reflecting the stubborn marketplace "hold" that family films are known for -- especially those in 3D.

Lionsgate acquired "Kick-Ass" last year for $15 million. The "Kick-Ass" bow remained at the lower end of pre-prelease projections, but execs said solid word-of-mouth bodes well for future frames and a leggy theatrical run.

"In the end, we're No. 1, which is fantastic," Lionsgate exec vp distribution David Spitz said. "These type of R-rated action comedies tend to do exactly what we did -- drop off on Saturday but then hold on strongly on Sunday. But the fact that we had the lowest drop in the marketplace from Saturday to Sunday speaks volumes about how people are starting to discover this film."

Just one week earlier, Warner Bros.' 3D action fantasy "Clash of the Titans" overtook Fox opener "Date Night" in final official data to grab the weekend top spot, reversing the pics' positions as based on Sunday estimates. Industryites said they couldn't remember the last time the top spot in the domestic rankings took until Monday to decide on two consecutive weeks.
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