Paul Walker and his sled dogs completed an expedition to the top of the box-office top 10 this weekend.
“Eight Below” led the pack of new releases — including “Date Movie” and “Freedomland” — to win #1 with more than $25 million, according to early estimates. Inspired by actual events, the adventure film stars Walker and Jason Biggs as members of an expedition forced to leave their sled dogs behind to struggle for survival in Antarctica (see “Paul Walker Says Coolest Thing About ’Eight Below’ Was The Dogs” ).
“Date Movie,” starring Alyson Hannigan and Eddie Griffin, followed close behind at #2 with more than $22.3 million. The comedy that spoofs “The Wedding Plannner,” “Wedding Crashers,” “Napoleon Dynamite” and “Meet the Parents,” among others, follows the romance between Julia Jones (Hannigan) and her fiance, Grant Fonckyerdoder (Adam Campbell), as they prepare to marry — with the help of a wedding planner named Jello (see “Rewind: What’s So Funny ’Bout Love? (Lots)” ).
With “Eight Below” and “Date Movie” laying claim to the top two spots, last week’s #1, “The Pink Panther,” was relegated to the #3 position. The comedy, starring Steve Martin as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau and Beyoncé Knowles as a pop star/suspect in the murder of a world-famous soccer coach, earned $21 million.
“Curious George” slipped from #3 to #4 its second week in theaters. The animated flick that follows the adventures of an inquisitive monkey and features the voices of Drew Barrymore, David Cross and Will Ferrell as the Man in the Yellow Hat, earned more than $15.3 million.
Horror sequel “Final Destination 3″ fell from #2 to #5 with over $12.5 million. The thriller centers on a high school student who predicts the crash of a roller coaster and works to keep death from catching up with the survivors of the tragedy (see ” ’Final Destination 3′ Rolls Out All-New Cool Ways To Die” ).
Harrison Ford’s “Firewall” slipped from #4 to #6. The film, which profiles a bank security expert who must help steal $100 million from his company in order to save his family from a kidnapper (see “Harrison Ford Takes A Beating For ’Firewall’ And Asks For More” ), earned more than $10.3 million.
Rounding out this week’s box-office top 10 are “Freedomland,” which opened at #7 with $7 million; “Big Momma’s House 2,” which fell from #6 to #8 with more than $5.85 million; “When a Stranger Calls,” which dropped from #5 to #9 with $5.8 million; and “Nanny McPhee,” which slipped from #7 to #10 with more than $5.1 million.
Overall, ticket sales were down slightly from the corresponding weekend last year.
Next week, look for “Running Scared” and “Madea’s Family Reunion” to debut on the box-office top 10.
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