Epic Movie dominates the US box office

Despite the fact that the more recent spoof-stacked films (such as Date Movie) are, for want of a better term, big stinking piles of dog poo, that hasn’t stopped a healthy box office return and studios happy to give the filmmakers money to create new ones.

New, of course, is a subjective term when you have a film completely made up of comically-twisted bits of other movies, but snarky critique aside, Epic Movie – which takes on the likes of Narnia, Pirates Of The Caribbean and Harry Potter – has stormed to the top of the box office with $19.2 million. That puts it very slightly ahead of Date Movie’s opening.

Second place went to Joe Carnahan’s latest, Smokin’ Aces, which has been out in the US for a couple of weeks now. The non-stop shoot ‘em up scored $14.3 million for a strong second place showing.

Third was Night At The Museum, which might actually now be at the end of its chart reign. Still, it managed to grab $9.4 million despite having been out for six weeks, bringing its total to $216.7 million. In fourth we find the week’s third new release, Catch And Release. Despite featuring the talents of Jennifer Garner, Kevin Smith and previously Oscar-nominated writer/director Susannah Grant, the movie could only fish for $8 million, which is a distinctly poor showing given that its main competition was aimed primarily at a male audience.

Down to fifth was Stomp The Yard, which has now made more than $50 million at the box office. Then in sixth there’s Dreamgirls, which, despite being shut out of the Best Picture Oscar race, added 600 cinemas to its release and nabbed $6.6 million, which means it’s now singing to the tune of $86.6 million.

Seventh this week was The Pursuit Of Happyness, likely picking up a few extras dollars now that Smith has been nominated for a Best Actor gong. Happyness now owns almost $153 million after seven weeks on the streets.

Jostling around eighth and ninth places were Mexican fantasy Pan’s Labyrinth and Britain’s big Oscar hope The Queen. Guillermo del Toro’s latest took in $4.5 million, while Stephen Frears’ film made $4 million. And then, falling like a stone from its already lousy opening to 10th, The Hitcher was struck by the double whammy of new, popular competition and a resurgence from the Oscar guard, managing just $3.6 million and limping home with no ride and having taken only $13.4 million so far.

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