Big Momma's in the House

You know the apocalypse is surely on its way when the critically scalded sequel to a Martin Lawrence comedy is top of the box office.

Okay, so maybe that’s a little harsh. And all credit to Lawrence and the Big Momma’s House 2 team for their $28 million opening this weekend. The fat suit follow-up beat unexpectedly strong competition from another heavily made up character – Emma Thompson’s Nanny McPhee called on a little Mary Poppins magic to help the medicine go down for a take of $14 million for second place.

Kate Beckinsale in leather could only hold the attention span so long, and Underworld: Evolution dropped 59% for a third-place total of $11.1 million. But that was still better than James Franco starring in a wannabe Top Gun – military academy drama Annapolis, which launched to a distinctly unspectacular $7.7 million and fourth.

Going further down the chart, Hoodwinked slipped to fifth grabbing $7.3 million in its third weekend, and Brokeback Mountain continued an eye-opening run with $6.3 million for sixth. It’s already becoming a jokey cliché catchphrase in Hollywood, but audiences in the States still can’t quit Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger’s love story.

Basketball drama Glory Road scored $5.1 million for seventh place and Queen Latifah’s Last Holiday hung on in the top ten at eighth with $4.8 million. Ninth was The Chronicles Of Narnia, continuing as a roaring success ($4.4 million this weekend alone) just as it prepares to leave the cinemas ahead of its DVD release in April. And bringing up the rear for 10th was Pierce Brosnan in the unconventional hit man drama The Matador, which opened to $3.8 million – not too shabby considering it’s showing on far less screens than most of the competition...