- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2009

LOS ANGELES (AP) - “Race to Witch Mountain” climbed to No. 1 at the box office with $24.4 million in ticket sales. The Disney sci-fi flick starring Dwayne Johnson bested “Watchmen,” the Warner Bros. superhero movie, which earned $17.8 million at No. 2 in its second week.

The Universal horror remake “The Last House on the Left” came in third with $14.1 million.

Despite the better-than-expected success of “Witch Mountain,” Hollywood’s box office winning streak ended over the weekend.

Factoring in 2009’s higher admission prices, the total take was down 16 percent compared to last year, making it the first down weekend in six weeks. Paul Dergarabedian, president of Media By Numbers, does not believe the descent marks the end of the otherwise stellar year at the box office.

“I don’t think this down weekend reflects any kind of lack of interest by the audience,” Dergarabedian said. “I think it has to do with ‘Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who’ opening a year ago with $45 million. That’s really a tough comparison.”

The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by Media By Numbers LLC:

1. “Race to Witch Mountain,” Disney, $24,402,214, 3,187 locations, $7,657 average, $24,402,214, one week.

2. “Watchmen,” Warner Bros, $17,817,301, 3,611 locations, $4,934 average, $85,751,993, two weeks.

3. “The Last House On the Left,” Universal, $14,118,685, 2,401 locations, $5,880 average, $14,118,685, one week.

4. “Taken,” Fox, $6,568,651, 2,858 locations, $2,298 average, $126,752,054, seven weeks.

5. “Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail,” Lionsgate, $5,108,532, 2,203 locations, $2,319 average, $83,187,594, four weeks.

6. “Slumdog Millionaire,” Fox Searchlight, $5,002,777, 2,578 locations, $1,941 average, $132,602,820, 18 weeks.

7. “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” Sony/columbia, $3,119,151, 2,281 locations, $1,367 average, $137,785,983, nine weeks.

8. “He’s Just Not That Into You,” Warner Bros., $2,939,484, 1,890 locations, $1,555 average, $89,038,259, six weeks.

9. “Coraline,” Focus Features, $2,718,231, 1,768 locations, $1,537 average, $69,240,852, six weeks.

10. “Miss March,” Fox, $2,409,156, 1,742 locations, $1,383 average, $2,409,156, one week.

11. “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” Disney, $1,941,638, 1,591 locations, $1,220 average, $41,295,158, five weeks.

12. “Fired Up,” Sony/Screen Gems, $1,645,380, 1,518 locations, $1,084 average, $15,430,103, four weeks.

13. “Gran Torino,” Warner Bros., $1,505,408, 1,102 locations, $1,366 average, $143,829,449, 14 weeks.

14. “The Reader,” Weinstein Co., $1,309,669, 1,002 locations, $1,307 average, $31,887,248, 14 weeks.

15. “Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience,” Disney, $940,270, 968 locations, $971 average, $18,241,586, three weeks.

16. “The International,” Sony/Columbia, $716,479, 549 locations, $1,305 average, $24,975,097, five weeks.

17. “Friday the 13th,” Warner Bros., $595,165, 780 locations, $763 average, $64,361,909, five weeks.

18. “Hotel For Dogs,” Paramount, $577,927, 804 locations, $719 average, $70,040,394, nine weeks.

19. “Push,” Summit Entertainment, $539,468, 615 locations, $877 average, $30,564,529, six weeks.

20. “Pink Panther 2,” Sony/MGM, $536,634, 627 locations, $856 average, $35,421,960, six weeks.

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On the Net:

http://www.mediabynumbers.com

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Universal Pictures, Focus Features and Rogue Pictures are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of General Electric Co.; Sony Pictures, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; DreamWorks, Paramount and Paramount Classics are divisions of Viacom Inc.; Disney’s parent is The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is a division of The Walt Disney Co.; 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox Atomic are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros., New Line, Warner Independent and Picturehouse are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a consortium of Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group, Sony Corp., Comcast Corp., DLJ Merchant Banking Partners and Quadrangle Group; Lionsgate is owned by Lionsgate Entertainment Corp.; IFC Films is owned by Rainbow Media Holdings, a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corp.

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