Cancer comedy "Bucket List" rules movie box office

Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:21pm EST
 
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Comedies mining the unlikely topics of terminal cancer and a church robbery led the North American box office on Sunday, sending ticket sales higher for a fifth consecutive weekend.

"The Bucket List," starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as patients boldly facing their demise, sold $19.5 million worth of tickets during the three days beginning on Friday. The Warner Bros. release, which had played in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto the prior two weekends, drew an older audience, the Time Warner Inc-owned studio said.

Rapper Ice Cube's "First Sunday" opened at No. 2 with $19 million. The Screen Gems caper pulled in a primarily young, black crowd, the Sony Corp division said.

The teen pregnancy comedy "Juno" slipped one place to No. 3 with $14 million, while "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" fell to No. 4 with $11.5 million after three weeks at No. 1.

The top-10 contained one other new release, the Universal Pictures kids film "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie," at No. 9 with a modest $4.4 million. Opening well down the rankings was the fantasy "In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale" with $3.3 million.

Sales for the top 12 films tallied $108.8 million, a 4.1 percent increase over the year-ago period, said box office analysis firm Media By Numbers.

REINER'S RECORD

"The Bucket List" marks a personal best for its director , Rob Reiner, surpassing the $15.5 million bow of 1992's "A Few Good Men," which also starred Nicholson. It was written by Justin Zackham, a struggling screenwriter who was on the verge of quitting the business until he decided to give it one last shot with a story about two feisty men who each draw up a to-do list before they "kick the bucket."   Continued...

 
<p>Morgan Freeman poses at the premiere of "The Bucket List" at the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles December 16, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>