'Couples Retreat' tops boxoffice Friday

Universal comedy off to $12.3 million start in U.S.

Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau swung to the top of the boxoffice returns on Friday as their new comedy "Couples Retreat" debuted in the top spot.

The PG-13-rated comedy, directed by Peter Billingsley, about four couples looking to repair their relationships in an island resort, took in an estimated $12.3 million in North America.

The opening, which will contribute to an opening weekend in the high $20 million range, provided welcome news for Universal, which earlier in the week promoted two of its execs, Adam Fogelson and Donna Langley, to replace its former chairmen Marc Shmuger and David Linde, who had suffered through a string of underperforming movies.

Meanwhile, word-of-mouth led Paramount’s limited expansion of the R-rated horror tale, Oren Peli's "Paranormal Activity," to a fourth-place showing.

The movie, which was introduced via midnight screenings two weeks ago, moved into just 159 theaters, where it attracted a bullish $2.5 million for the day.

Holdovers filled out the other slots in the top five.

Claiming second place was Sony's horror comedy "Zombieland" which collected $4.8 million, in the first day of its second weekend.

In the third spot, the same studio's animated movie "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," hung in with $3.1 million as it entered its fourth weekend.

Animation also figured in the fifth slot where Disney's 3D double bill of "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2" picked up another $2 million.