Two films battle for weekend b.o. crown

9:09 AM PST 04/11/2010 by Carl DiOrio, AP

'Date,' 'Titans' neck and neck for No. 1 spot; results due Mon.

The weekend boxoffice's titanic clash of genres may take until Monday to decide conclusively when final figures are released, but preliminary estimates showed Fox's action comedy "Date Night" bowing atop the domestic heap with $27.1 million.

Warner Bros.' action fantasy "Clash of the Titans" had a kraken good second frame with $26.9 million, as the 3D holdover fell less than expected from its opening tally, at 56%. The Sam Worthington starrer totes $110.5 million in cumulative coin.

DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon" enjoyed a ridiculously sticky third weekend, sliding a mere 13% to fetch $25.4 million in third place. Imax specialty venues contributed 12% of its weekend haul, as the Paramount-distributed pic piled cume to $133.9 million.

Hitting its sophomore session, Liongate's Tyler Perry dramedy "Why Did I Get Married Too?" dropped a big 62% to $11 million in fourth place, with a $48.5 cume. But Disney's Miley Cyrus starrer "The Last Song" dipped just 37% to $10 million in fifth and a 10-day cume of $42.4 million.

Debuted in 897 locations, Vivendi Entertainment's family drama "Letters to God" etched $1.3 million in tenth place.

On an industry-wide basis, the $125 million represented a 3% downtick from the comparable frame last year, which included the Easter holiday.

Among the latest limited bows, Apparition unspooled the dark comedy "The Square" with solo engagements in New York and L.A. and grossed $16,564, or an encouraging $8,282 per playdate.

Elsewhere in the specialty market, Music Box's Danish crime thriller "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" added 38 locations for a total 125 to ink $557,149. That represented an acceptable $4,457 per site and brought cume to $2.2 million.

Anchor Bay's Andy Garcia starrer "City Island" added 18 theaters for a total 45 and grossed $211,000. That represented a sturdy $4,689 per venue ahead of a scheduled expansion to 60 sites, with cume now sitting at $522,896.

IFC's romantic comedy "Breaking Upwards" added a Los Angeles location, as bicoastal exclusive rung up $14,800 or a pleasing $7,400 per screen. Cume including the prior week's single New York run is $36,972.

Starring Steve Carell and Tina Fey, "Date Night" was directed by Shawn Levy ("Night at the Museum") and drew mostly positive reviews. Rated PG-13, the pic attracted audiences skewing 57% female, with 60% of patrons aged 25 or older.

"It was mostly couples, and the reason it did so much business is people want to laugh," Fox senior vp distribution Bert Livingston said. "Shawn Levy makes funny movies, and the chemistry was great between Tina and Steve."

Warners execs were jubilant that industry predictions of a second-weekend implosion by "Titans" proved just so much unwarranted pessimism.

"We have great word of mouth with our core audience," Warners distribution boss Dan Fellman said. "The 3D experience continued to drive the boxoffice this weekend and has played a significant role in the success of the film."

Looking ahead, two movies open in wide release Friday. Lionsgate unspools the comic book adaptation "Kick-Ass" -- with Matthew Vaughn directing a cast that includes Nicolas Cage -- and Sony sends out the R-rated comedy "Death at a Funeral," starring Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence.
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