Box Office: Dragon Slugs it out with Hit Girl for #1

Despite landing at #3 last week, the CG animated “How to Train Your Dragon” roared back into first place, just barely edging out newcomer “Kick Ass”, according to studio estimates. The margin is so slim (about $250,000) that it’ll probably take Monday’s final figures to really reveal who won the top spot. The just south of $20 million weekend take for “Kick Ass” is about $10 million lower than industry expectations, which is not really a surprise. Fanboy-heavy movies rarely do well if there is no pandering to audiences beyond the core demo. There are, after all, only so many fanboys out there. Expect a major drop in the coming weeks, though the film should probably still prove to be a commercial hit.

But for now “Dragon” seems to have hopped back to first place from last week’s third, besting “Kick Ass” as well as the only other big studio opening, the Chris Rock-fronted comedy “Death at a Funeral”. A remake of the British comedy, “Death” came in at third with $17 million, just barely edged out by last week’s #2, the Tina Fey comedy “Date Night”, which remained steady at #3 in its second week of release. But like the “Kick Ass”/”Dragon” battle, the margin between “Date Night” and “Death” is razor thin (about $300,000), so Monday final numbers could easily swap the two titles.

Besides major releases “Kick Ass” and “Death at a Funeral”, there were seven other new, indie releases over the weekend, with the baseball movie “The Perfect Game” topping off the most number of theaters at 417 screens.

Last week’s #1, Louis Leterrier’s “Clash of the Titans” tumbled down to fifth place, adding another $15.7 million to its coffers. The film with the FUBAR 3D conversion has made $133 million in three weeks of release, and adding an additional $119 million from overseas take gives “Clash” a $252 million haul in worldwide box office so far.

1 —–How to Train Your Dragon —–$20,000,000 —–$158,618,000
2 —–Kick-Ass —–$19,750,000 —–$19,750,000
3 —–Date Night —–$17,300,000 —–$49,246,000
4 —–Death at a Funeral (2010) —–$17,000,000 —–$17,000,000
5 —–Clash of the Titans (2010) —–$15,770,000 —– $132,985,000
6 —–The Last Song —–$5,800,000 —–$50,000,000
7 —–Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too? —–$4,180,000 —–$54,880,000
8 —–Hot Tub Time Machine —–$3,545,000 —– $42,505,000
9 —–Alice in Wonderland (2010) —–$3,500,000 —–$324,000,000
10 —–The Bounty Hunter —–$3,200,000 —– $60,378,000