In a weekend the Hollywood studios tend to write off because of Sunday’s Super Bowl, the urban dance drama “You Got Served” broke from a lackluster pack to take the top slot at the North American box office with a surprisingly strong opening.According to studio estimates issued Sunday, the movie about rival street-dancing troupes in Los Angeles sold $16 million worth of tickets since opening Jan. 30. Produced for $8 million and expected to open with a three-day sum of about $10 million, the film is a profitable entry for Screen Gems, the mid-budget studio owned by Sony Corp.The audience, mostly young blacks, was drawn by “great music, great attitude and terrific dancing,” said Sony domestic distribution president Rory Bruer.The comedy “Along Came Polly” (Universal) held steady at No. 2 with $10.1 million, followed by last weekend’s champ, “The Butterfly Effect” (New Line), with $10.0 million. Their respective totals rose to $66.8 million and $32.4 million.Two other new wide releases bombed: the high school drama ”The Perfect Score” (Paramount) at No. 5 with $5 million, and the crime caper “The Big Bounce” (Warner Bros.) at No. 12 with $3.3 million. Some industry observers had forecast they could open with $10 million each. Universal Pictures is a unit of Vivendi Universal SA. New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures are units of Time Warner Inc. Paramount Pictures is a unit of Viacom Inc.Most of the movies in the top 10 were bunched in clusters -- those in the bottom half were separated by $500,000 -- and rankings could change when final data are released Monday.Super Bowl, awardsThe main factor in determining the estimates is the Super Bowl, traditionally the most popular television event in the United States. All movies take a big hit, but some studios hoped their three-day estimates would turn out to be conservative.The top 12 films grossed $75 million, according to tracking firm Exhibitor Relations, the lowest tally since Sept. 14, and down six percent from the last Super Bowl weekend.Last Sunday’s widely watched Golden Globe Awards and Tuesday’s announcement of the Academy Award nominations had a mixed impact on contenders in the top 10.The biggest beneficiary was director Clint Eastwood’s crime drama “Mystic River,” which picked up two Globes and six Oscar nods. With a 31 percent boost in sales from last weekend, it rose one place to No. 9 with $4.4 million. The 17-week total for the Warner Bros. film rose to $64.9 million, including $9.5 from the last two weeks of re-release.Leading Oscar contender “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” with 11 nominations, rose one place to No. 4 with $5.3 million in its seventh week after losing just 22 percent of its audience from last weekend. The total for the New Line release rose to $345.3 million.With seven Oscar nominations, but not in the key picture and director categories, Miramax Films’ Civil War drama “Cold Mountain” earned $4.5 million (down 9 percent), for a six-week total of $78.8 million. It held steady at No. 7, tying with DreamWorks’ “Win A Date with Tad Hamilton!”Beyond the top 10, several films took advantage of their Oscar nominations to reach a wider audience.The serial killer drama “Monster,” which earned an Oscar nod for Charlize Theron, earned a solid $3.1 million.With 10 Oscar nominations, “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World” picked up a so-so $2.3 million in its re-release.Director Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation” added $2.2 million on the strength of its three Globe wins and four Oscar nominations. Miramax is a unit of Walt Disney Co.“Monster” was released by closely held Newmarket Films. “Master and Commander” was released by 20th Century Fox, a unit of Fox Entertainment Group Inc. “Lost in Translation” was released by Vivendi Universal’s Focus Features.
/ Source: Reuters