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‘Click!’ Sandler comedy No. 1 at box office

Comic fantasy earns $40 million, knocks ‘Cars’ into second place
/ Source: The Associated Press

Adam Sandler took charge of the remote control at the weekend box office.

His comic fantasy “Click,” about a man whose new universal remote takes control of his life and leaves it in chaos, debuted as the No. 1 movie with $40 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Sony’s “Click” bumped off the Disney-Pixar animated comedy “Cars,” which slipped to second place with $22.5 million, raising its domestic total to $155.9 million.

The weekend’s other new wide release — Focus Features’ “Waist Deep,” starring Tyrese Gibson as an ex-con forced into a robbery spree to collect ransom for his kidnapped son — opened strongly with $9.5 million to finish at No. 4.

“Waist Deep” played in 1,004 theaters and averaged $9,414 per cinema, compared to a $10,670 average for “Click” in 3,749 theaters.

“Click” finished in the ballpark of the opening weekends for Sandler’s other recent comedies, “Mr. Deeds,” “Anger Management,” “50 First Dates” and “The Longest Yard,” whose debuts ranged from $37 million to $47 million.

Sandler plays a harried architect and family man who receives a magical remote that can fast-forward and freeze-frame his life. The movie co-stars Kate Beckinsale, Christopher Walken and David Hasselhoff.

“Sandler’s one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. “Adam Sandler has this timeless appeal to audiences. He’s like a big kid, and people love that about him.”

Sony’s “The Da Vinci Code,” starring Tom Hanks in the adaptation of Dan Brown’s best-selling thriller, followed 20th Century Fox’s “X-Men: The Last Stand” as the year’s second movie to top $200 million domestically.

“Da Vinci” took in $4 million to raise its total to $205.5 million, while the “X-Men” sequel grossed $4.4 million to lift its take to $224.1 million.

The overall box office rose for the sixth straight weekend. The top 12 movies grossed $125.9 million, up 7 percent from the same weekend last year, when “Batman Begins” was the No. 1 movie with $27.6 million.

Hollywood revenues are at $4.35 billion for the year, up 4.5 percent from the box office in 2005, when the movie industry was in a prolonged slump. Factoring in higher ticket prices, though, movie attendance this year is up just 1.35 percent, according to Exhibitor Relations.

The box office is expected to get a boost over the Fourth of July weekend with Wednesday’s premiere of the Warner Bros. tale “Superman Returns,” one of the year’s most-anticipated films.