"Pirates of The Caribbean," Pregnancy Comedy Lead Box Office
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" led the North American box office for a second weekend, while the new pregnancy comedy "Knocked Up" delivered a surprisingly large bundle of joy.
According to studio estimates issued on Sunday, the third installment in Walt Disney's
Worldwide, the Johnny Depp adventure has earned $625.3 million, with leading contributions from Britain ($57 million), Germany ($37 million) and Korea ($27 million), Disney said. In the next few days, it will pass the $653 million total of the first Pirates film -- 2003's "The Curse of the Black Pearl."
"Dead Man's Chest" topped out at $1.1 billion, a record for a Disney movie. The new film is tracking 44 percent ahead of that film in Latin America, 28 percent ahead in Asia and eight percent ahead in Europe, said David Kornblum, Disney's vice president of international sales and distribution.
"Knocked Up" opened with $29.3 million, equivalent to its production budget. The film's distributor, Universal Pictures, had hoped the acclaimed comedy would open in the same $21 million range as director Judd Apatow's previous film, 2005's "The 40-Year-Old Virgin." The Steve Carell comedy went on to make $109 million domestically.
The new film stars Katherine Heigl ("Grey's Anatomy") as an entertainment journalist impregnated during a drunken one-night-stand with a slacker, played by Seth Rogen.
Exit surveys provided by Universal indicated that 57 percent of the audience was female, and 44 percent were under 30. It is also the best-reviewed wide release so far this year with raves from 92 percent of critics, according to Rotten Tomatoes (http://www.rottentomatoes.com), a Web site that tabulates reviews.
Amid a proliferation of family-friendly sequels, the film was "absolutely a breath of fresh air for the target audience," said Nikki Rocco, Universal's president of domestic distribution.
Universal, a unit of General Electric's
DreamWorks Animation SKG's
Also new was the Kevin Costner thriller "Mr. Brooks," which opened at No. 4 with $10 million, in line with the modest expectations of its distributor, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Costner plays a man held in high esteem by the community, who is a serial killer and is in turn pursued by a stalker. Critics were scathing, and exit surveys were not good.
"Spider-Man 3" fell two places to No. 5 with $7.5 million. The superhero franchise has earned $318.3 million after five weeks. The worldwide total stands at $844 million, surpassing the $821 million haul of 2002's "Spider-Man," the previous record-holder in the franchise. "Spider-Man 2," released in 2004, finished with $784 million worldwide. The series was released by Columbia Pictures, a unit of Sony Corp. .