Leave it to a band of pirates to pocket the biggest box-office treasure of 2006. "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," which shattered box-office records last week, has become the year's top earner.
After just 10 days in theaters — and a second-weekend pull of more than $62.1 million — "Dead Man's Chest" has earned more than $258.2 million, according to early estimates, maintaining its hold on #1 in the box-office top 10. That's enough to beat the previous top earner of 2006, "X-Men: The Last Stand," which has raked in $232 million over eight weeks.
"Pirates" stars Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, who finds out he owes his soul to Davy Jones, the undead captain of the Flying Dutchman. Sparrow ropes Orlando Bloom's Will Tucker and Keira Knightley's Elizabeth Swann into his quest to make good on his debt or be damned to an afterlife of servitude (see "For Depp, Bloom And Knightley, 'Pirates' Is The Treasure That Keeps On Giving").
Bowing at #2 with about a third of the pull of "Pirates" is the comedy "Little Man," which earned $21.7 million its first weekend out. The film stars Marlon Wayans as a very short criminal on the run who is mistaken for a baby boy and adopted by wannabe dad Shawn Wayans (see "Hi-Tech Visionaries? Nah — The Wayans Are 'Just Trying To Tell Some Jokes, Man' ").
The comedy "You, Me and Dupree" came close on the heels of "Little Man," making its debut at #3 with more than $21.3 million. Kate Hudson and Matt Dillon star in the film as Molly and Carl, a newlywed couple happily beginning their new life together until Carl's best bud, Randy Dupree (Owen Wilson), loses his job and moves into their home (see "Worst Houseguest Ever? Hudson, Dillon, Wilson Reveal Real-Life 'Dupree' Moments").
After being ousted from the #1 spot on the top 10 last week by "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Superman Returns" was knocked down another two notches this week by new releases, falling from #2 to #4. The latest film in the Superman franchise, which stars newcomer Brandon Routh as the Man of Steel (see " 'Superman Returns' Stars Put Their Own Spin On Iconic Comic Book Roles"), earned more than $11.6 million during its third weekend in theaters.
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"The Devil Wears Prada" was kicked a similar two spots down the top 10 this week, falling from #3 to #5 with $10.4 million. The movie, based on a novel by former Vogue assistant Lauren Weisberger, stars Meryl Streep as the editor-in-chief of Runway magazine, and Anne Hathaway as her assistant (see " 'Devil' Designer Patricia Field Drapes Hathaway And Streep In Prada, Aims To Empower").
Owen Wilson makes another appearance on the box-office top 10, as "Cars" comes in at #6 with more than $7.5 million. The family-friendly animated feature, down one spot this weekend, features the voices of Wilson — who plays a cocky young race car — and Paul Newman.
Rounding out this week's box-office top 10 are "Click," which tumbled from #4 to #7 with $7 million; "The Lake House," which slipped from #7 to #8 with more than $1.5 million; "Nacho Libre," which dropped from #6 to #9 with more than $1.2 million; and "A Scanner Darkly," which debuted on the top 10 with more than $1.1 million.
Overall, ticket sales were down from the corresponding weekend last year.
Next week, look for "Lady in the Water," "Clerks II," "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" and "Monster House" to debut on the box-office top 10.
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