A trio of teen stars managed to paddle their way closer to the top of the box office this week, but they were no match for the kicks and flips of a martial-arts hero.
Jet Li's "Hero" defended its #1 position on the box-office top 10, bringing in more than $11.5 million, according to early estimates.
The foreign-language film, which takes place in China, was originally released in 2002 to little acclaim, but was revived through the efforts of Quentin Tarantino, who convinced Miramax to re-release it.
Rowing against the current is no easy task, especially when it's pushing most of the other films in the top 10 down. But Seth Green, Matthew Lillard and Dax Sheppard managed to shift the flow — "Without a Paddle," even. Their flick moved up a spot from #3 to #2 with $9.4 million.
Meanwhile, "Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid" slithered down a notch from #3 to #2. The film, about scientists hunting for a flower that provides a longer life, took in $8 million.
Bowing in the top 10 this week is a film about wily celebrity photographers getting out of hand. "Paparazzi" follows a newly successful movie star (Cole Hauser) as he is exploited, taken advantage of, and finally put in danger by photographers. The film lands at #4 with more than $7.8 million. Elsewhere, the logs of the "Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement" are beginning to show a steady decline. The film, which stars Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews, dropped a spot to #5 with more than $7.3 million.
Thriller flick "Wicker Park," which stars Josh Hartnett, opened this weekend to mediocre success. The film, about a Chicago investment banker whose love for a woman leads him toward a dangerous situation, bowed at #6 with more than $6.7 million.
Rounding out the top 10 this week are "Collateral," which drops from #6 to #7 with $6.5 million; "Vanity Fair," which opened in limited release and landed at #8 with more than $6.1 million; "The Cookout," which bowed at #9 with $6.1 million; and "The Bourne Supremacy," whose reign is just about over, as it falls from #9 to #10 with $5.4 million.
Overall, ticket sales were down over this year's long weekend from the corresponding weekend last year.
Next week, look for "Cellular" and "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" to bow in the box-office top 10.
Check out everything we've got on "Hero."
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