'Epic Movie' Tops 'Smokin' Aces'; 'Blood' Has Little Box-Office Bite

Spoof unseats 'Stomp the Yard'; 'Catch and Release' makes the top five.

The Top Five

#1 "Epic Movie" ($19.2 million)

#2 "Smokin' Aces" ($14.2 million)

#3 "Night at the Museum" ($9.4 million)

#4 "Catch and Release" ($8 million)

#5 "Stomp the Yard" ($7.8 million)

The box office wasn't exactly smokin' over the weekend, nor were the grosses epic in their haul, but a solid one-two punch from newcomers "Epic Movie" and "Smokin' Aces" did shake things up a bit.

Landing in the top spot with a respectable $19.2 million was the blockbuster spoof "Epic Movie." Though it didn't come close to mimicking the grosses of the films it endlessly skewered -- including "Superman Returns" and "The Chronicles of Narnia" -- this lowbrow comedy did at least grant box-office salvation to Kal Penn (still licking his wounds from the abysmal "Van Wilder" sequel returns) and Crispin Glover.

"Smokin' Aces," director Joe Carnahan's long-awaited follow-up to "Narc," landed in second place with a decent haul of $14.2 million. Its high-octane cast (Alicia Keys, Ben Affleck, Ryan Reynolds) and nonstop action no doubt appealed to moviegoers looking for a little excitement in their trip to the multiplex.

Slipping to third place in its sixth week in theaters was the blockbuster "Night at the Museum," still good for an impressive $9.4 million. Also falling down the top five -- though still performing respectably -- was "Stomp the Yard," which ranked #5 with $7.8 million.

As for other weekend debuts, the news was less cheery for the Jennifer Garner vehicle "Catch and Release," whose $8 million was only good for fourth place. But at least it didn't match the "Blood and Chocolate" numbers. The werewolf horror flick barely eked out $2 million -- that's a 15th-place haul -- in its first, truly scary, days in theaters.

How'd We Do

We MTV Movies folks earned our keep this week with both this editor and writer Larry Carroll correctly predicting the top take of "Epic Movie" (see [article id="1550860"]"Projection Booth: Can 'Epic Movie' Trump 'Smokin' Aces'?"[/article]). However, celebrity guest prognosticator Aidan Quinn (who put his money on "Smokin' Aces") needn't weep. After all, at the end of the day, he is Aidan Quinn. And we, at last check, are not.

Prognosticator (Weeks Won)

Josh Horowitz, MTV Movies editor (8)

Larry Carroll, MTV News writer (5)

Celebrity guests (1)

In Perspective

Spoofs are nothing to be laughed at. They can be big business in Hollywood, and nobody knows it better than Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the creative force behind "Epic Movie." With writing credits for the original "Scary Movie" and "Date Movie," these guys know there's money to be had in the time-honored parody genre. Here's a look at some of the biggest opening grosses in the genre in recent years.

· "Scary Movie" (2000) $43.3 million

· "Scary Movie 2" (2001) $20.5 million

· "Scary Movie 3" (2003) $48.1 million

· "Scary Movie 4" (2006) $40.2 million

· "Date Movie" (2006) $19 million

Next Week

Are you ready for some football? The box-office gods hope not, because two wide releases are being trotted out on the field next weekend even as the nation collectively gets settled on their couch with a bowl of chips and salsa. Traditionally Super Bowl weekend is one in which the box office takes a healthy dip (continuing the chip analogy here) but where there's a little counter programming called "Because I Said So," there's hope. This multigenerational comedy hopes to appeal to Mandy Moore and Diane Keaton fans alike -- or at least anyone who doesn't know a Bear from a Colt.

Hoping to distinguish itself from the pack of horror flicks Hollywood ceaselessly foists on the American people is "The Messengers." Directed by acclaimed Japanese filmmakers (and twins) Oxide Pang Chun and Danny Pang, this farm-set scare fest stars Kristen Stewart of "Panic Room" fame. It looks like she should have kept onetime mom Jodie Foster around to protect her.

Meanwhile, in limited release, "it" girl Sienna Miller gets to stretch by playing "it" girl Edie Sedgwick in "Factory Girl." This could be the week where we finally find out if all those hours we've spent gawking at pics of Miller on the 'Net and in print were for naught.

Check out everything we've got on "Epic Movie", "Smokin' Aces" and "Catch and Release".

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