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'Horton Hears a Who!' Tops Weekend Box Office

Reuters
Sunday, 16 Mar 2008 | 4:59 PM ET

Move over, Dumbo. Horton is now the big elephant in the room.

The computer-animated adaptation "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears A Who!" trampled its rivals at the North American box office Sunday with weekend sales of $45.1 million, the biggest opening
of the year.

The $85 million 20th Century Fox release, which boasts the voices of Jim Carrey and Steve Carell, exceeded industry expectations but fell short of the $55.1 million bow of Carrey's previous turn in a Seuss movie, 2000's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

It does rank as Carrey's best start since May 2003, when "Bruce Almighty" set a new watermark for the Canadian actor with a $67.95 million opening. Overall, "Horton" stands at No.
4 on Carrey's all-time list.

Carrey voices the title character, a rubbery elephant who stumbles upon a speck that happens to be a tiny planet, home to a city called Who-ville. Carell voices the excitable mayor. In
a rare moment of synchronicity with moviegoers, critics were also enthusiastic about the film.

Fox, a unit of News Corp, said "Horton" ranks as the fifth-biggest G-rated opening ever; the top honor is held by 2003's "Finding Nemo" with $70.2 million. The studio expected Easter school vacations to boost the film's midweek performance.

Last weekend's champion, "10,000 BC," slipped to No. 2 with $16.4 million for the three-day period; the 10-day haul for Warner Bros. Pictures' prehistoric epic stands at $61.2 million. The critically maligned saga has also earned $73 million internationally. The Time Warner Inc unit said the film cost more than $100 million to make.

Opening at No. 3 was "Never Back Down," a mixed martial arts movie targeted at male youngsters. It earned $8.6 million. The $20 million film is the debut production of privately held
Summit Entertainment LLC.

Rounding out the top five were the Walt Disney Co Martin Lawrence comedy "College Road Trip" at No. 4 with $7.9 million, and the Sony Corp political thriller "Vantage Point" at No. 5 with $5.4 million. Their respective totals rose to $24.3 million after two weeks, and $59.2 million after four weeks.

The top-10 contained one other new release, the action thriller "Doomsday," which opened at No. 7 with a disappointing $4.7 million. The $19 million Rogue Pictures production was released by Universal Pictures, a unit of General Electric Co's NBC Universal Inc

Following are the top 10 films at the North American box office for the three-day weekend beginning March 14, led by the new release "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears A Who!," according to studio estimates compiled Sunday by Reuters.

1 (+) Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! .. $ 45.1 million
2 (1) 10,000 BC ....................... $ 16.4 million
3 (+) Never Back Down ................. $ 8.6 million
4 (2) College Road Trip ............... $ 7.9 million
5 (3) Vantage Point ................... $ 5.4 million
6 (4) The Bank Job .................... $ 4.9 million
7 (+) Doomsday ........................ $ 4.7 million
8 (5) Semi-Pro ........................ $ 3.0 million
9 (7) The Other Boleyn Girl ........... $ 2.9 million
10 (6) The Spiderwick Chronicles ....... $ 2.4 million

NOTE: Last weekend's ranking in parentheses. + - new
release.

TOTALS TO DATE
The Spiderwick Chronicles ....... $ 65.4 million
10,000 BC ....................... $ 61.2 million
Vantage Point ................... $ 59.2 million
Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! .. $ 45.1 million
Semi-Pro ........................ $ 29.7 million
College Road Trip ............... $ 24.3 million
The Other Boleyn Girl ........... $ 19.2 million
The Bank Job .................... $ 13.1 million
Never Back Down ................. $ 8.6 million
Doomsday ........................ $ 4.7 million

"Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears A Who" was released by Twentieth
Century Fox, unit of News Corp.
"10,000 BC" was released by Warner Bros. Pictures.
"Semi-Pro" was released by New Line Cinema. Both are units of
Time Warner Inc.
"Never Back Down" was released by Summit Entertainment,
which is privately held.
"College Road Trip" was released by Walt Disney Pictures, a
unit of Walt Disney Co.
"Vantage Point" and "The Other Boleyn Girl" were released
by Columbia Pictures, a unit of Sony Corp.
"The Bank Job" was released by Lionsgate, a unit of Lions
Gate Entertainment Corp.
"Doomsday" was released by Rogue Pictures, a unit of
General Electric Co's NBC Universal Inc.
"The Spiderwick Chronicles" was released by Paramount
Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc.
(Reporting by Dean Goodman; editing by Eric Beech)

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