‘The Ring Two’ #1 At Box Office; ‘Robots’ Slips To Second

Sequel pulls in $36 million, outrunning animated film's $21.8 million take.

While Rachel Keller, the panic-stricken lead in “The Ring Two,” uprooted her life to escape the curse, brave audiences across the country settled into movie theaters to face it head-on.

The sequel to 2002′s terrifying “The Ring” tempted moviegoers to test the limits of their fright threshold, bowing at #1 in the box-office top 10 with $36 million, according to early estimates. “The Ring Two” picks up where the first installment left off, finding Keller (Naomi Watts) moving from Seattle to Oregon with her son in the hopes of getting away from the curse of the ring (see ” ‘The Ring Two’: Well, Well, By Kurt Loder” ). Unfortunately, as is the case in most horror films, they can run, but they can’t hide — from the undead Samara, who continues to find new ways to terrorize them.

“The Ring Two” easily knocked last week’s box-office champ, “Robots,” out of the #1 spot, pushing the animated flick down to #2. The film, which centers on a young robot’s plan to create robots that can help make the world a better place, took in more than $21.8 million in ticket sales.

Vin Diesel may play his role as a pacifier in his most recent film a bit too well; after just three weeks in theaters he seems to have tranquilized audiences. While the film drops just one spot this week, it took in nearly $10 million less than “Robots.” “The Pacifier” settled into the #3 spot with more than $12.5 million.

This week’s only other new release, “Ice Princess,” failed to win audiences over, debuting at #4 on the box-office top 10. The family-friendly romantic comedy about a Harvard-bound brainy teen who pursues a life of sequin-encrusted miniskirts over the slightly more conservative Ivy League wardrobe took in more than $7 million.

“Hitch,” meanwhile, holds strong at #5 this week after six weeks in theaters. The film about a smooth player who teaches socially inept men to score dates with the women of their dreams took in $6.6 million.

Going to see “Be Cool” seems to be becoming a terminally un-hip activity. After just three weeks in theaters, the sequel to “Get Shorty” lands at #6 on the box-office top 10, falling three spots from the #3 position it held last week. Despite a stellar cast, including John Travolta, Uma Thurman and Christina Milian, “Be Cool” earned just $5.8 million this week.

Rounding out this week’s box-office top 10 are “Hostage,” which drops from #4 to #7 with more than $5.7 million; “Million Dollar Baby,” which falls from #6 to #8 with more than $4 million; “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” which slips from #7 to #9 with $2.5 million; and “Constantine,” which slides from #8 to #10 with $2.3 million.

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

Next week, look for “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous” and “Guess Who” to debut in the box-office top 10.

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