Editor's note: Several hours after this article published on Monday, new box-office figures were released that put "Kick-Ass" in the top spot with $19.8 million over the $19.6 million haul for "How to Train Your Dragon."
The Box-Office Top Five
#1 "How to Train Your Dragon" ($20 million)
#2 "Kick-Ass" ($19.8 million)
#3 "Date Night" ($17.3 million)
#4 "Death at a Funeral" ($17 million)
#5 "Clash of the Titans" ($15.7 million)
The foul-mouthed crime-fighters of "Kick-Ass" faced some unexpected competition this weekend in the form of "How to Train Your Dragon." DreamWorks Animation's 3-D family film surprised box-office watchers by floating to the top of the charts on Sunday.
Based on Sunday's estimates, "Dragon" earned $20 million versus the $19.8 million earned by "Kick-Ass" this weekend. Although the rankings could reverse once official numbers for Sunday come in, such a tight race is still surprising given the comic book film's pre-release buzz and expectations for an opening weekend of $30 million or more. Further, the fact that "Dragon" was able to give "Kick-Ass" such stiff competition after four weeks in theaters is nothing short of a shocker.
Matthew Vaughn directed "Kick-Ass," based on the comic book series by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., on a budget secured by investors outside of the traditional Hollywood studio system. Lionsgate acquired "Kick-Ass" in August for a reported $25 million following the movie's massive presence at Comic-Con in San Diego. It appeared a wise investment, considering that the last movie based on a Mark Millar comic book was "Wanted" in 2008, a hard R-rated action film that earned a surprising $341.4 million haul worldwide. To date, "Kick-Ass" has only secured $37.2 million internationally thanks to an overseas performance worth $17.4 million.
As "Kick-Ass" and "How to Train Your Dragon" continue to slog it out over first place well into Monday morning, a similarly tight competition is brewing between last week's "Date Night" versus newcomer "Death at a Funeral," separated by a mere $300,000. Like the rankings for first place, it's possible that new numbers could push "Funeral" past "Date Night" before the day is out.
"Clash of the Titans" rounded out the top five with a $15.7 million fifth-place finish.
Warner Bros.' "The Losers" will try to win the box-office crown next weekend -- or at least perform better than rival comic book movie "Kick-Ass" did in its first weekend. After four years away from the big screen, Jennifer Lopez makes her comeback with "The Back-Up Plan" for CBS Films.
Check out everything we've got on "Kick-Ass."
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