'Monsters Vs. Aliens' Scares Box-Office Competition

'The Haunting in Connecticut' also has impressive debut.

The Box-Office Top Five

#1 "Monsters Vs. Aliens" ($58.2 million)

#2 "The Haunting in Connecticut" ($23 million)

#3 "Knowing" ($14.7 million)

#4 "I Love You, Man" ($12.6 million)

#5 "Duplicity" ($7.56 million)

It was [movie id="328526"]"Monsters vs. Aliens"[/movie] versus a sluggish March box office -- and the "Monsters" came out victorious. DreamWorks' 3-D crowd-pleaser won over moviegoers and took the #1 spot with an impressive $58.2 million. That's more than [movie id="302856"]"Watchmen"[/movie] took on its debut a mere four weeks ago, earning "Monsters" a spot as one of the highest-grossing March debuts. It's also the biggest 3-D opener yet, with the film bringing in 56 percent of its take just through 3-D screenings.

[movie id="412131"]"The Haunting in Connecticut"[/movie] also had a strong debut, landing at #2 with $23 million. But [movie id="381539"]"12 Rounds"[/movie] opened at a flat #7, with only $5.3 million.

The rest of the top spots all belonged to the sophomores. [article id="1607506"]Nicolas Cage's "Knowing"[/article] dropped two spots to #3, but still did solid business at $14.7 million, bringing its total to $46.2 million.

[movie id="375342"]"I Love You, Man"[/movie] still managed to wrestle some love from those cuddly monsters. Though it dropped all the way to #4, it brought in another $12.6 million and has earned $37 million so far.

[movie id="372347"]"Duplicity"[/movie] also hung in there at #5, though the power of Julia Roberts and Clive Owen is beginning to weaken -- it only brought in $7.56 million.

This weekend was the last that anyone was watching the "Watchmen." It fell off the top five this week, plunging all the way to #8 with only $2.75 million. It has now managed to clear $103 million but is one of the slowest $50 million openers to do so. It moved at a snail's pace compared to the other members of 2009's $100 million club, a list of unlikely smash hits that includes "Taken," "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" and "Gran Torino."

Overall, the box-office total was a pleasing $143 million, up 34 percent from last year. After several slow weekends, Hollywood is undoubtedly breathing a sigh of relief that their market is continuing to thrive. Too bad big friendly monsters can't solve every economic slump!

Upcoming Releases

Only two films get wide release next Friday: Universal's sequel "Fast & Furious" and Miramax's "Adventureland."

Check out everything we've got on "Monsters vs. Aliens."

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