Narnia may be home to eternal winter and an evil witch, but audiences hungry for more gruesome entertainment stepped out of the wardrobe and into the dungeon this weekend, making the horror flick “Hostel” #1 at the box office.
Directed by Eli Roth (“Cabin Fever”) and backed by Quentin Tarantino, “Hostel” made its debut at the top spot, earning $20.1 million, according to early estimates. The gory flick centers on American college buddies who are lured into a dungeon full of sadistic torturers while backpacking through Europe (see ” ‘Hostel’: Hey, Wouldn’t It Be Sick If …?” ).
With “Hostel” taking over the #1 spot, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” was knocked down to #2. The fantasy flick about four children who escape boredom by traveling to the land of Narnia through a magical wardrobe earned more than $15.4 million. After five weeks in theaters, “Narnia” hasn’t dropped out of the top two spots on the box-office top 10 (see ” ‘The Chronicles Of Narnia’: The Next Lit Hit?” ).
“King Kong,” however, dropped from #2 to #3 this week. The remake of the classic 1933 film — which stars Naomi Watts in Fay Wray’s damsel-in-distress role and Jack Black as conniving filmmaker Carl Denham — earned more than $12.4 million in its fourth week in theaters (see ” ‘King Kong’: A Love Story With A Giant, Hairy Heart” ).
“Fun With Dick and Jane” earned $12.2 million this weekend, slipping from #3 to #4. The comedy remake stars Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni as a well-off couple that turns to a life of crime when Carrey’s character loses his job (see “Rewind: Fun With The Original ‘Dick’ And ‘The Producers’ “ ).
“Cheaper by the Dozen 2″ also dropped a spot from #4 to #5, earning $8.3 million. The comedy stars Steve Martin, Hilary Duff and Tom Welling as members of a vacationing family that finds itself in competition with another clan, which includes Carmen Electra, Eugene Levy and Jaime King.
“Munich” climbed from #10 to #6 with more than $7.4 million. The Steven Spielberg-helmed drama takes place after the murders of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics and centers on a group that sets out to kill Palestinians believed to have planned the attack (see ” ‘Munich’: Can Steven Spielberg Bring Peace To The Middle East? By Kurt Loder” ).
Rounding out the box-office top 10 are “Memoirs of a Geisha,” which sticks at #7 with $6 million; “Rumor Has It,” which drops from #5 to #8 with more than $5.8 million; “Brokeback Mountain,” in at #9 with more than $5.7 million; and “The Family Stone,” which slips from #6 to #10 with more than $4.6 million.
Overall, ticket sales were up from the corresponding weekend last year.
Next week, look for “The New World,” “Tristan & Isolde,” “Last Holiday” and “Glory Road” to debut on the box-office top 10.
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