'Invincible' Repeats As Box Office Champ

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LOS ANGELES (September 4, 2006) — Mark Wahlberg remained “Invincible” at the box office over the long Labor Day weekend.

Disney’s “Invincible,” with Wahlberg as a pro football rookie who makes the team in open tryouts, was the No. 1 movie for the second straight weekend, taking in $15.2 million from Friday through Monday, according to studio estimates.

The movie lifted its 11-day total to $37.8 million.

Lionsgate’s action tale “Crank,” with Jason Statham as a hitman out for revenge while racing to find an antidote after he’s poisoned, opened at No. 2 with $13 million.

Nicolas Cage’s “The Wicker Man,” a Warner Bros. remake of a 1973 thriller about a cop tracking a missing child on an eerie island, took in $11.7 million to debut in third place.

The weekend’s other new wide release, Sony’s basketball tale “Crossover,” opened outside the top 10 with $4.5 million.

Two acclaimed films continued to expand to more theaters and scored again with audiences. Fox Searchlight’s road-trip comedy “Little Miss Sunshine,” starring Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette and Steve Carell, was No. 4 with $9.7 million.

Yari Film Group’s “The Illusionist,” starring Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti in a drama about a mysterious magician in early 1900s Vienna, expanded into wide release and broke into the top 10 with $8 million.

After gradually rolling out following debuts in a handful of theaters, the two films maintained the best per-theater averages among the top-10 movies. Playing in 1,602 locations, “Little Miss Sunshine” averaged $6,071 a cinema, while “The Illusionist” did $8,261 in 971 theaters.

In limited release, IFC Films’ documentary “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” opened strongly with $41,664 in two theaters for a $20,832 average. The film, a harsh critique of Hollywood’s movie ratings system, expands to more theaters through September.

Hollywood closed the summer with a solid Labor Day weekend, typically a slow time at movie theaters as students prepare to head back to school and families squeeze in last-minute barbecues and other outdoor activities. The top 12 movies took in $98.7 million, up slightly from the same weekend last year.

After domestic revenues went into a tailspin in 2005, Hollywood has rebounded with a sturdy year, with movie attendance rising about 3 percent compared to last summer.

“This was a summer that I think reflected the fact that people still want to go to the movies,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. “We didn’t break any records, but the box office is alive and well.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Monday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures will be released Tuesday.

1. “Invincible,” $15.2 million.2. “Crank,” $13 million.3. “The Wicker Man,” $11.7 million.4. “Little Miss Sunshine,” $9.7 million.5. “The Illusionist,” $8 million.6. “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” $7.7 million.7. “Barnyard: The Original Party Animals,” $6.4 million.8. “Accepted,” $5.9 million.9. “World Trade Center,” $5.8 million.10. “Step Up,” $6.2 million.

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