‘Big Momma’ And A Magical ‘Nanny’ Triumph Over ‘Underworld’

Vampire sequel knocked to #3 by 'Big Momma's House 2' and 'Nanny McPhee.'

Sunlight and holy water do a pretty good job of vanquishing vampires, but if you really want to knock off the pointy-toothed night crawlers, send in Big Momma.

Martin Lawrence’s comedy, “Big Momma’s House 2″ knocked “Underworld: Evolution” out of the top spot, debuting at #1 with $28 million, according to early estimates. In the sequel to the 2000 comedy, Lawrence stars as FBI agent Malcolm Turner who once again dons a fatsuit and a tacky floral-print dress to go undercover as Big Momma (see “Rewind: A Wardrobe Full of Cinematic Cross-Dressing Goodness” ). This time, Turner’s assignment is to work as a nanny for a woman suspected of murdering his ex-partner.

Another family-friendly nanny-centric flick made its mark on the box-office top 10 this week. “Nanny McPhee,” a comedy starring Emma Thompson and Colin Firth, took the #2 spot with more than $14 million. Thompson plays the nanny brought in to help tame the unruly children of the recently widowed Mr. Brown (Firth), and McPhee uses otherworldly powers to succeed where 17 previous nannies had failed miserably.

The suspense flick “Underworld: Evolution” was shot down by the duo of tough-as-nails babysitters. Last week’s #1 dropped to #3, earning $11.1 million. Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman star in this sequel, in which the legacy of a feud between vampires and werewolves is revealed (see “Scott Speedman Says ’Underworld’ Vampire Sex Scene Sucked” ).

“Annapolis,” the only other new release to impact the box-office top 10, bowed at #4. The drama, which stars James Franco as a kid with a hard-knock background who gets accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy and struggles to prove his worth to his peers, earned more than $7.7 million.

Three new releases pushed “Hoodwinked” three spots down the box-office top 10, from #2 to #5. The revisionist fairy tale, which picks up where the “Little Red Riding Hood” story left off, earned more than $7.3 million.

“Brokeback Mountain” slipped a spot from #5 to #6. The film, featuring performances by Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway, earned more than $6.3 million in its eighth week on the box-office top 10 (see ” ’Brokeback’ More Than Just ’The Gay Cowboy Film,’ Cast Says” ).

Rounding out the top 10 are “Glory Road,” which tumbled from #3 to #7 with more than $5.1 million; “Last Holiday,” which fell from #4 to #8 with $4.8 million; “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” dropped from #6 to #9 with more than $4.4 million; and “The Matador,” which debuted on the box-office top 10 at #10 with more than $3.8 million.

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

Next week, look for “Curious George,” “When a Stranger Calls” and “Something New” on the box-office top 10. Lars von Trier’s “Manderlay,” and “Bandidas,” starring Penélope Cruz and Salma Hayek, are also opening.

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