Sunday Box Office: Audiences Aren't Riding 'Pelham 1 2 3'

Denzel Washington1. "The Hangover" ($33.4 million)

2. "Up" ($30.5 million)

3. "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" ($25 million)

4. "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" ($9.6 million)

5. "Land of the Lost" ($9.1 million)

Saturday moviegoers finally left Las Vegas, and took a ride with Denzel Washington and John Travolta, helping "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" earn a few more subway tokens. The remake has taken in $25 million so far, but still lingers at #3. That's well below current weekend winners "Up" and "The Hangover," which will probably start the new week sitting pretty, having brought in about $30 million each.

Why weren't audiences flocking to the new thriller of the weekend? Nikke Finke of Deadline Hollywood Daily noted that the film was on its way to a #2 opening on Friday night, but dropped to #3 as West Coast audiences flocked back to Bradley Cooper & Company. "[Pelham] didn't get as big a late-night kick as expected and fell to No. 3 where it stayed all weekend. Why anyone remade the classic 1974 film is inexplicable, especially in this CGI-heavy summer. (Now, if the subway turned into a Transformer...) Also, Travolta's recent family tragedy meant the actor wasn't able to promote the film ... Sony now must depend on strong overseas sales for 'Pelham.'"

Another summer flop is Eddie Murphy's "Imagine That," which continued to falter at #6, managing to bring in only $5.7 million. Considering that kid movies are generally big business during the summer, it seems that audiences are getting tired of Murphy's family-friendly offerings. Finke wonders why studios continue to hand him leading parts, noting that "it's now a trend that Eddie's movies can't open to more than a $6M weekend. (Remember last summer's other bomb "Meet Dave?")."

Instead, families are buying more tickets for Disney/Pixar's "Up," which is looking to overtake last year's "Wall-E" with a cumulative take of $187 million in just 3 weeks. The kiddies are also helping "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" hang in the top five, though it hasn't done as well as its predecessor. The first "Museum" ended its box office reign at $250.9 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

With a four week take of $143 million, "Smithsonian" has been a bigger success than the recent grown-up summer offerings. "Terminator: Salvation" has only walked away with $114 million, "Angels and Demons" was blessed with only $123 million. It's really proving to be a cruel summer for a lot of studios as their big-budget offerings falter and fall by their first week.

MTV readers, which did you pick: "Up," "The Hangover" or "Pelham"? Care to hazard any guesses at what's causing this spate of late-spring/early-summer flops?