'Shark Tale' Swallows Box-Office Competition Again

Animated flick takes in another $31.7 million.

For the second week in a row, a posse of animated sharks has kept its competitors at bay.

"Shark Tale" maintained the #1 spot in the box-office top 10, bringing in $31.7 million, according to early estimates. The DreamWorks flick, about a young fish who makes himself seem tough by refusing to deny accusations that he murdered shark mob boss' son, features the voices of Will Smith, Jack Black, Robert De Niro and Angelina Jolie.

What would football season be without a dramatic film based on the sport? Billy Bob Thornton's "Friday Night Lights," about a coach who leads his team to the 1988 Texas state semifinals, bowed at #2. The flick, an adaptation of the novel by the same name and based on the real-life football fever in Odessa, Texas, took in more than $20.5 million.

"Ladder 49" cooled off a bit this week, dropping a spot from #2 to #3 with a take of more than $13.2 million. The dramatic action flick stars John Travolta as a fire chief who was the mentor of a probationary firefighter (Joaquin Phoenix). The real drama comes when Phoenix's character is trapped inside a massive fire in a 20-story building.

Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah's "Taxi" debuted at #4 with more than $12 million. The film, which also stars model Gisele Bundchen in her first major movie role, centers on a bumbling cop attempting to solve a series of bank robberies by chasing the culprit (Bundchen) in a taxi cab.

Meanwhile, "The Forgotten" is slowly fading, as it tumbled two spots this week to #5, bringing in $7.5 million.

Hilary Duff's "Raise Your Voice" opened with little more than a whisper, at #6 with $4.6 million. Duff plays a young girl who, following the death of her brother, spends her summer at a performing-arts school in Los Angeles. While there, she learns to believe in herself and even finds romance along the way.

Rounding out the box-office top 10 this week are "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow," which falls three spots from #4 to #7 with more than $2.2 million in its fourth week in theaters; "Shaun of the Dead," which drops two notches from #6 to #8 with more than $1.5 million; "The Motorcycle Diaries," which debuted in the top 10 this week (rising six spots from #15) with more than $1.4 million; and "Resident Evil: Apocalypse," which falls from #8 to #10 with more than $1.2 million.

Overall, ticket sales were up very slightly from the corresponding weekend last year.

Next week, look for "Team America: World Police" and "Shall We Dance?" to make their debuts.

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