"Race to Witch Mountain" takes first at box office

Sun Mar 15, 2009 3:27pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Disney family adventure "Race to Witch Mountain" outran superhero movie "Watchmen" to take the top spot with $25 million in this weekend's contest at the North American box office.

The reworking of the 1975 action adventure "Escape to Witch Mountain" stars Dwayne ("The Rock") Johnson, who also headlined Disney's "The Game Plan."

"We had a big family audience, but about 20 percent of the audience was unaccompanied adults," said Mark Zoradi, president of the studios motion pictures group at Walt Disney Co. "There was a little bit of people looking back toward the first movie."

He declined to make overall projections for "Witch Mountain" but said, with schools out for spring break over the next few weeks, it looks to be "in for a good solid run."

"Watchmen," an adaptation of a cult comic book series, saw its weekend box office take fall 67 percent from a week earlier to $18.1 million, distributor Warner Bros Pictures said.

The drop was in line with expectations and similar to the one after openings of other "tent-pole" movies, said Jeff Goldstein, executive vice president and general sales manager of domestic distribution at the studio owned by Time Warner Inc.

He said the studio believes "Watchmen" has "tremendous staying power" and will make a projection for overall receipts next week.

The film's take for its first two weeks was $86 million.

The debut of horror film remake "The Last House on the Left" came in No. 3 for the weekend with $14.7 million.   Continued...

<p>Cast members (from L-R) Alexander Ludwig, Carla Gugino, Dwayne Johnson and AnnaSophia Robb pose at the premiere of the movie "Race to Witch Mountain" at El Capitan theatre in Hollywood, California March 11, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>