Saturday Box Office: Friday Audiences Are ‘Hungover’

1. “The Hangover” ($10.4 million)
2. “Up” ($8.8 million)
3. “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3” ($8.3 million)
4. “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” ($3.0 million)
5. “Land of the Lost” ($2.9 million)

Never underestimate the staying power of a good party, even when it comes to the weekend box office. “The Hangover” held onto its top spot (and why not, after that last minute recount?) with another $10.4 million, giving it a 8 day haul of $82.4 million. Weekend audiences clearly want to laugh, enjoy the buzz and avoid Tony Scott’s “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3″ which looks to be another summer stumble.

The Sony thriller, which stars Denzel Washington and John Travolta, didn’t exactly speed out of the station. Though it’s the newcomer at the multiplex, it couldn’t overtake “Hangover” or “Up,” but opened squarely at #3 with $8.3 million. While it’s the biggest opening Scott has ever had (he hasn’t really knocked one out of the gate since 1987 when he brought the world “Beverly Hills Cop II” and took $26.3 million in two days), it’s small potatoes compared to the $16.5 million haul “Hangover” enjoyed last Friday.

“Pelham” is a remake of the 1973 thriller starring Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw, and has received mixed reviews, earning a middling 51% at Rotten Tomatoes thus far. The consensus seems to be that the new “Pelham” doesn’t hold a candle to the original, despite the acting talents of Washington and Travolta.

“Imagine That” also looks to be another flop, as the Eddie Murphy comedy couldn’t even crack the top five. It opened weakly, at #6 with only $1.8 million. “Up” continued to fly with $8.8 million, “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” hung on with $3.0. Even the flop “Land of the Lost”
did better with $2.9 million, knocking “Star Trek” off the top five.

MTV weekenders, what are you watching this weekend? Are you going for a repeat viewing of “Hangover” or “Up”? Will you take a chance on “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3?”