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Open Season clambers to the top of the box office

Ashton Kutcher’s going to be pissed off this morning. He makes his big bid for a Tom Cruise/Top Gun type movie, he ropes in Kevin Costner, and what happens at the box office? He gets beaten by an animated caper featuring talking bleedin’ animals. 

Still, don’t feel too bad for the bloke – his tonsils contributed to that cartoon (Open Season), so he’s really only beaten himself. The American cinemagoers’ appetite for chatty critters and buddy bonding still seems to be in evidence, despite the fact that Open Season is hardly a classic of the genre. It was enough to score $23 million.

Kutcher also took second place with that aforementioned Top Gun-on-water drama The Guardian. Though hardly a washout, it didn’t exactly overcome some dodgy word of mouth, and finished up with $17.6 million. The week’s third new film – Billy Bob Thornton & Jon Heder comedy School For Scoundrels arrived in fourth, grabbing just $9 million.

Meanwhile, Jackass Number Two dropped to number three in its second week, but having earned $14 million for a running total of more than $51 million, the low-budgeted prank-fest is doing just fine.

Heading on further down the charts to fifth place, we find Jet Li’s Fearless. His “final” chop socky adventure has earned $17 million so far. It’s ahead of the Rock’s Gridiron Gang drama in chart positions, but the Gang is still ahead in earnings – having taken $33 million so far.

Remember the two indie movies that were doing well, the ones we predicted would leave the charts this week? Looks like “the little films that could” still can – The Illusionist is back up at seventh, taking $2.8 million this weekend. And that’s despite the film having been in the charts for seven weeks. It was ahead of Flyboys at eighth place, which could only drum up $2.3 million in its second weekend. And at ninth, The Black Dahlia managed $2 million – with Brian DePalma’s noir thriller making $20.7 million so far. That’s peanuts compared to the other indie success – Little Miss Sunshine, which clung on to 10th place, having now shined on $53 million in the US alone.  Can they stay in the charts? Tune in next week…

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