The first time is always special, but the second time ain’t nuthin’ to sneeze at either: “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” topped the box office for the second week in a row, taking in more than $16.4 million, according to early estimates.
In the film, Steve Carell plays Andy Stitzer, an endearingly geeky collector of action figures and vintage toys whose coworkers make it their mission to help him lose his virginity. The plan seems to be going well — until Stitzer starts a relationship with a single mother who suggests a no-sex policy (see “For ‘Virgin’ Leading Man Steve Carell, First Time’s A Charm” ).
Opening in the #2 spot is Matt Damon and Heath Ledger’s new flick, “The Brothers Grimm,” with more than $15 million. In the adventure/fantasy film — directed by “Monty Python” vet Terry Gilliam — the actors play siblings that collect folklore and travel from town to town telling inhabitants that they can rid their homes of fabled creatures. Unfortunately for the con-artist pair, their scam is revealed when they are asked to venture into a haunted forest, where they encounter real evil and magical creatures (see ” ‘Brothers Grimm’ Director Gilliam Is Hollywood’s Biggest Dreamer — And Enemy” ).
Speaking of evil, Wes Craven’s “Red Eye,” the film that stars Cillian Murphy as an assassin out to kill a major government official, dropped a spot from #2 to #3 with $10.4 million. In the thriller, Jackson Rippner (Murphy) threatens to kill his airplane seatmate Lisa Reisert’s (Rachel McAdams) father if she does not aid him in his plot.
“Four Brothers” also slipped a notch, from #3 to #4, with more than $7.8 million. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, model-turned-actor Tyrese Gibson, Outkast’s Andre Benjamin (aka Andre 3000) and Garrett Hedlund as four adopted brothers who are reunited at their mother’s funeral. When the brothers learn that the woman who raised them might have been murdered, they band together to seek revenge.
“Wedding Crashers,” too, dropped one spot, from #4 to #5, with more than $6.2 million. Despite the slip, it’s clear that audiences are still falling for Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson’s womanizing characters: The film has been in the top ten for seven weeks, earning more than $187.7 million so far.
Debuting at #6 is the action/thriller “The Cave” with $6.2 million. Piper Perabo and Cole Hauser star as members of a rescue team that comes under attack by a series of menacing underground creatures, while on a mission to rescue a group of missing spelunkers.
Rounding out this week’s top 10 are “March of the Penguins,” which drops from #6 to #7 with more than $4.5 million; “The Skeleton Key,” which tumbles from #5 to #8 with more than $4.3 million; “Valiant,” which slips from #8 to #9 with more than $3.3 million; and “The Dukes of Hazzard,” which falls from #7 to #10 with more than $3 million.
Overall, ticket sales were down from the corresponding weekend last year.
Next week, look for “Underclassman” and “The Transporter 2″ to debut on the box-office top 10.
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