After watching the devil do some damage last week, moviegoers opted for more divine entertainment this weekend, making Reese Witherspoon’s new romantic comedy, “Just Like Heaven,” the #1 film in the country.
The feature — which also stars Mark Ruffalo and features Jon Heder of “Napoleon Dynamite” — bowed at the top of the box-office heap with $16.5 million, according to early estimates.
In the film, David (Ruffalo) sublets an apartment only to find that he’s going to have to share it with Elizabeth (Witherspoon), a pretty young woman who insists she still lives there. The first problem? Elizabeth is a ghost who has yet to figure out she is dead. The second? She and David are falling for each other.
“The Exorcism of Emily Rose” falls from #1 to #2, earning $15.3 million its second week in theaters. The courtroom thriller, inspired by a real-life incident in Germany, centers on a case following the Catholic Church-approved exorcism of a teenage girl believed to be demonically possessed.
Debuting at #3 with $9.2 million is “Lord of War,” starring Nicolas Cage as an international arms dealer who must stay on top of his game in order to avoid his enemies — including an Interpol agent played by Ethan Hawke — and his own nagging questions about his fate (see “Nic Cage Hopes To Push Buttons With Trigger-Pulling ’War’ “ ).
“The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” which has been at the top of its game for the last five weeks, was pushed down from the #2 to the #4 position this week, earning more than $5.8 million. The film, starring “The Daily Show” vet Steve Carell, centers on an aging virgin whose friends make it their business to end his losing streak (see “For ’Virgin’ Leading Man Steve Carell, First Time’s A Charm” ).
Making its box-office debut at #5 is the thriller, “Cry_Wolf,” earning more than $4.5 million. The feature follows a group of teens who decide to create a killer named the Wolf after hearing a report of a young woman’s mysterious murder. The game turns deadly, though, when the murders and scenarios created by the teenagers begin to actually occur.
With three new releases hitting screens this week, “Transporter 2″ falls from #3 to #6. The film, which stars Jason Statham as a former courier forced back onto the job to rescue two young boys he’s been hired to chauffeur (see “’Transporter 2′ Delivers Explosive Lesson To Model Kate Nauta” ), fell from #3 to #6 and earned more than $4 million.
Rounding out this week’s box-office top 10 are “The Constant Gardener,” which dropped from #4 to #7 with more than $3.6 million; “Red Eye,” which slipped from #5 to #8 with $2.9 million; “March of the Penguins,” which climbed from #10 to #9 with more than $2.5 million; and “Wedding Crashers,” which fell from #8 to #10 with more than $2.5 million.
Overall, ticket sales were up from the corresponding weekend last year.
Next week, look for “Flightplan” and Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride” to debut on the box-office top 10.
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