'Gridiron Gang' Muscles 'The Covenant' Out Of Box Office's Top Spot

Real-life football tale opens at #1; 'The Black Dahlia' debuts at #2.

A week after a group of teens with supernatural powers kicked the football flick "Invincible" out of the #1 spot, the Rock helped pigskin players reclaim their title.

"Gridiron Gang" led the charge of new releases taking over the top half of the box-office top 10, bowing at #1 with $15 million, according to early estimates. The film, based on a true story, stars wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as a probation officer in a detention center who transforms a group of teenage inmates into a football team to teach them self-respect (see [article id="1540088"]" 'Gridiron Gang' Story Squeezed Tears From The Rock"[/article]).

"The Black Dahlia," another film inspired by real events, opened at #2, earning more than $10.4 million. The film centers on one of Hollywood's most notorious unsolved mysteries, in which 22-year-old aspiring actress Elizabeth Short was found brutally murdered in 1947. The Brian De Palma-directed crime drama based on a James Ellroy book stars Scarlett Johansson, Josh Hartnett, Hilary Swank and Mia Kirshner, who plays Short.

The more lighthearted family flick "Everyone's Hero" debuted at #3. Featuring the voices of Whoopi Goldberg and William H. Macy, the animated film about a young Yankees fan's journey to help Babe Ruth and his team with the World Series earned more than $6.2 million.

Wrapping up the new releases that made the top 10 is "The Last Kiss," which took #4 with more than $4.7 million. Zach Braff stars as a man on the brink of his 30th birthday who struggles to come to terms with getting older as he learns his girlfriend is pregnant and he begins to fall for a younger girl.

With four new releases hitting theaters this weekend, last week's #1 flick, "The Covenant," dropped four spots to #5. The film about a group of prep-school teens with supernatural powers who face a crisis after a fellow student is murdered earned $4.7 million.

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Also succumbing to the new releases was "Invincible," which dropped from #3 to #6 with more than $3.9 million. The flick, which fell below the top half of the top 10 for the first time since debuting in theaters, stars Mark Wahlberg as a substitute teacher who goes out for open tryouts for the Philadelphia Eagles and makes the team (see [article id="1539290"]"Mark Wahlberg Can Make Hits, But Can He Take Them? Actor Tries To Be 'Invincible' "[/article]).

Rounding out the box-office top 10 are "The Illusionist," which falls from #6 to #7 with more than $3.8 million; "Little Miss Sunshine," which drops from #7 to #8 with more than $3.4 million; "Hollywoodland," which plummeted from #2 to #9 with more than $2.7 million; and "Crank," which slid from #5 to #10 with $2.7 million.

Overall, ticket sales were down from the corresponding weekend last year.

Next week, look for "All the King's Men," "Jackass: Number Two" and "Bandidas" to debut on the box-office top 10.

Check out everything we've got on "Gridiron Gang," "The Black Dahlia" and "The Last Kiss."

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