Given the choice between visiting the Fockers or talking with the dead this weekend, more moviegoers chose to spend time with the quirky Floridians than the somewhat more frightening afterlife residents.
"Meet the Fockers" remained at the top of the box-office top 10 for the third week in a row, bringing in $28.5 million, according to early estimates. The film, which introduces Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand as the parents of Ben Stiller's Greg Focker, managed to draw more moviegoers than the only new release on the top 10, "White Noise," to maintain the #1 position.
In "White Noise," which debuted at #2 with $24 million, Michael Keaton's character is destroyed by the unsolved mystery of his wife's death, and finds a way to communicate with her via household recording devices and EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon). The communication process turns evil when other elements of the supernatural leak through as well.
With just over a third of the ticket sales of "White Noise," "The Aviator" hovered at #3 for the second week in a row. The Howard Hughes biopic, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the legendary aviator and director, took in more than $7.6 million in its fourth week in theaters.
In an ill-fated box-office development, "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" dropped two spots from #2 to #4. With Jim Carrey starring as the sneaky Count Olaf, the film took in $7.4 million in ticket sales.
The live-action version of Bill Cosby's animated series "Fat Albert" sunk under the weight of the box-office heavies, dropping from #4 to #5 with $6 million.
Similarly slumping down the list is the heist flick starring George Clooney and the suddenly single Brad Pitt, "Ocean's Twelve," which drops from #5 to #6 with $5.4 million.
Rounding out the top 10 this week are "National Treasure," which falls from #6 to #7 after eight weeks, with more than $4.4 million; "Spanglish," which slips from #7 to #8 with $4.4 million; "The Phantom of the Opera," which holds court at #9 for the second week in a row, with more than $3.4 million; and Wes Anderson's "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou," which reappears on the top 10 at #10 with more than $2.6 million.
Overall, ticket sales were up slightly from the corresponding weekend last year.
Next week, look for "Elektra" and "Coach Carter" to appear on the box-office top 10.
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