Beyonce's catfight thriller leads box office

Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:24pm EDT
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Did someone say catfight?

The prospect of a saucy smackdown between R&B singer Beyonce Knowles and teen-movie siren Ali Larter propelled the new "Fatal Attraction"-style thriller "Obsessed" to the top of the weekend box office in North America.

According to studio estimates issued on Sunday, "Obsessed" sold $28.5 million worth of tickets, earning about twice what industry pundits had forecast and easily exceeding its modest $20 million budget.

The Screen Gems picture ranks as the label's second-best opening after the $30 million start for 2005's "The Exorcism of Emily Rose." Screen Gems is the lucrative low-budget division of Sony Corp's Columbia Pictures.

Knowles, the former Destiny's Child frontwoman who recently played blues icon Etta James in "Cadillac Records," stars as a woman who engages in a no-holds-barred fight to save her marriage when a pretty office temp (Larter) falls hard for her husband (Idris Elba).

"This is one of those movies where you want to watch Beyonce kick butt," said Rory Bruer, Columbia's president of worldwide distribution.

The studio said female moviegoers comprised 58 percent of the audience, while 49 percent of all viewers were aged under 25.


<p>Actress Beyonce Knowles poses at the premiere of the film "Obsessed" in New York, April 23, 2009.REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>