"Dragon" proves tough to slay at box office

Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:56pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "How to Train Your Dragon" proved a difficult film to slay at the North American box office as it took the top spot in its fifth weekend in theaters, according to studio estimates issued on Sunday.

The animated "Dragon" earned $15 million over the weekend since Friday, dropping just 23 percent since last weekend.

Romantic comedy "The Back-up Plan" followed at No. 2 with $12.3 million, while action comedy "The Losers" opened at No. 4, slightly short of expectations with $9.6 million.

"We couldn't be more thrilled to be No. 1 in the fifth week," said Anne Globe, head of worldwide marketing for DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc, the studio that produced "Dragon."

"The Back-up Plan," which is Jennifer Lopez's first movie appearance since 2006, opened within industry expectations. The singer and actress stars opposite Alex O'Loughlin.

The release from CBS Corp's film division was made for $35 million. It ruled the Friday night box office, but later lost the lead to "Dragon" as families streamed into matinee showings of the animated film.

"Date Night," a romantic comedy from News Corp-owned Twentieth Century Fox, remained a solid performer in its third weekend. It made $10.6 million, which was only a 37 percent drop from last week and claimed the No. 3 spot.

CBS Films expects "The Back-up Plan" to follow the pattern set by romantic comedies such as "Date Night."   Continued...

<p>Cast member Jay Baruchel rides a mechanical dragon at the premiere of the film "How to Train Your Dragon" in Los Angeles March 21, 2010. REUTERS/Phil McCarten</p>