Warner Bros.' `300' Leads Box Office Receipts Again

Category: 300 News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: March 18, 2007 | Publication: Bloomberg | Author: Andy Fixmer and Stefan Whitney
Publication/Article Link:http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=apRRyaxJwWrc&refer=us

March 18 (Bloomberg) -- Time Warner Inc.'s battle epic ``300'' was the highest-grossing movie for a second straight weekend in U.S. and Canadian theaters, taking in $31.2 million.

The movie topped Sandra Bullock's ``Premonition,'' which opened in third place with $18 million, and Universal Pictures' ``Dead Silence,'' which debuted fourth with $7.7 million, box- office tracker Media By Numbers LLC said in a statement today. ``Wild Hogs'' retained second place, taking in $18.8 million in its third week of release.

``300'' last week broke the record for a March opening, taking in $70 million. While receipts fell 56 percent this week, the movie has now made $127.5 million since its March 9 release and is the biggest-grossing film this year for Warner Bros., which may have its second number-one debut of 2007 when ``Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'' opens next weekend.

``I think `Turtles' is going to be a huge movie, and Warner Bros. is going to be very happy,'' Paul Dergarabedian, president of Encino, California-based Media By Numbers, said in an interview. ```300' is exactly the shot in the arm the industry needs.''

Based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller, ``300'' tells the story of 300 Spartan warriors who hold back a larger Persian army attempting to invade Greece. ``300,'' which had a production budget of about $60 million according to Box Office Mojo LLC, stars Gerard Butler as the Spartan King Leonidas and Lena Headey as his wife, Queen Gorgo.

Debut Films

Sony Corp.'s ``Premonition,'' which debuted in third place, stars Bullock as a housewife whose husband is killed in a car crash and reappears the next day. Realizing it was a premonition, Bullock tries to prevent the accident from taking place. Sony came first at the 2006 box office with total receipts of $1.76 billion.

Fourth-placed ``Dead Silence,'' which cost $20 million to make according to Internet Movie Data Base Inc., is about a widower searching for answers to his wife's murder, while battling a possessed ventriloquist's dummy.

``I Think I Love My Wife,'' released by News Corp.'s Fox Searchlight, debuted fifth with $5.7 million. The movie stars Chris Rock as a married man who finds his morals tested by the former mistress of a friend. The film, Rock's second directing effort, opened in 1,776 theaters and is a remake of the 1972 French movie ``Chloe in the Afternoon.''

```Premonition,' `Dead Silence' and `I Think I Love My Wife' opened well, as expected, considering how strong those holdovers are,'' Dergarabedian said, referring to ``Wild Hogs'' and ``300.''

`Wild Hogs,' `Terabithia'

``Wild Hogs,'' which stars John Travolta and Tim Allen as amateur bikers on a cross-country tour to cope with their middle-age crises, has now made $104 million. The movie played in 3,360 theaters this weekend, the widest release of any film.

``Bridge to Terabithia'' fell to sixth place from third with $5.1 million in sales. The movie, playing in 2,091 theaters, follows the adventures of two children who escape the torment of school bullies by creating an imaginary world. It has made $74.9 million since its Feb. 16 release.

Sony's ``Ghost Rider,'' the latest in a series of Hollywood movies based on comic-book characters from Marvel Entertainment Inc., took in $4 million to finish seventh, bringing its total to $110.2 million since opening Feb. 16.

The film stars Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle- stunt rider endowed with super powers after selling his soul to the devil. The special-effects-laden movie cost about $110 million to make, according to Box Office Mojo.

`Zodiac,' `Norbit'

``Zodiac,'' released by Viacom's Paramount Pictures, dropped to eighth from fifth, taking $3.1 million. The film, about a serial killer who terrorized San Francisco, stars Robert Downey Jr. and Jake Gyllenhaal, and made $28.9 million in three weeks.

The Eddie Murphy comedy ``Norbit,'' from Viacom's DreamWorks, fell to ninth place from sixth with sales of $2.7 million. Warner Bros.' ``Music & Lyrics,'' starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore, was tenth with $2.2 million.

Fox Searchlight's ``The Namesake,'' based on the novel by Jhumpa Lahiri, was shown in 41 theaters and made $691,832 to place 14th. Its average of $16,874 in ticket sales per theater was the highest of all movies, with average sales of $9,357 from the 3,270 theaters showing ``300'' coming second.

Sales for the top 12 films fell 26.3 percent to $102.4 million from a year earlier, Encino, California-based Media By Numbers said. Overall sales have risen 5.2 percent to $1.8 billion this year while attendance is up 3.5 percent.

The following table has figures provided by studios to Media by Numbers. The amounts are based on actual grosses for March 16 and yesterday and estimates for today.