"Chihuahua" mauls DiCaprio, Crowe at box office

Sun Oct 12, 2008 1:42pm EDT
 
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The new terrorism thriller "Body of Lies" failed to take the top spot at the weekend box office in North America, an apparent victim of moviegoers' preference for escapist fare amid global financial turmoil.

The Warner Bros. film, starring Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio as CIA agents battling a terrorist organization in the Middle East, had to settle for the No. 3 slot with $13.1 million, according to studio estimates issued on Sunday.

The Walt Disney Co family comedy "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" logged a second weekend at No. 1 with $17.5 million, taking its 10-day haul to $52.5 million.

The low-budget zombie horror "Quarantine" opened at No. 2 with $14.2 million. The $12 million film was released by Screen Gems, a unit of Sony Corp.

Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc, had hoped "Body of Lies" would open at No. 1 with a three-day sum possibly reaching the high-teen millions.

"I'm a bit disappointed," said Dan Fellman, the studio's domestic distribution president. "It was too good for the gross it recorded."

DiCaprio stars as an Arabic-speaking field agent who teams up with Jordanian spies to uncover a dangerous terrorist operation. Crowe plays his boss back in the United States. The movie was directed by British filmmaker Sir Ridley Scott, who previously steered Crowe to an Oscar with "Gladiator."

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<p>Cast member Jamie Lee Curtis (R), holding Chihuahuas Angel, and comedian George Lopez holding Rusco, pose at the world premiere of "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" at El Capitan theatre in Hollywood, California September 18, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>