"Social Network" tops box office for second week

Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:20pm EDT
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Facebook film "The Social Network" captured the top spot at North American box offices for the second straight weekend in a lackluster frame that saw ticket sales for all films drop about 15 percent from last year.

A pair of newcomers, romantic comedy "Life As We Know It" and horse racing film "Secretariat," failed to make strong bids for No. 1, with the former coming in second at $14.6 million while the latter rounded out the top three with $12.6 million, according to studio estimates on Sunday.

"The Social Network," by contrast, took in $15.5 million with its tale of the popular website's founding, which has thrilled both critics and audiences and has Hollywood buzzing with awards talk for the David Fincher-directed movie.

The Columbia Pictures release played in just under 2,800 locations for a per-theater average of around $5,600. Ticket sales were down just about 30 percent, a small drop by Hollywood standards from last week's final haul of $22.4.

In two weeks in theaters, "Social Network" has taken in $46.1 million, which Columbia said covers its production cost, putting the film on a solid path to profitability.

Warner Bros' "Life As We Know It," starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel as a pair of singles who take on the parenting of an orphaned baby, grabbed its $14.6 million in 3,150 locations, averaging just over $4,600 per theater.

"Secretariat," which tells how a woman broke into the ranks of the male-dominated horse racing industry behind a Triple Crown-winning thoroughbred, finished the weekend sweepstakes with $12.6 million in roughly 3,200 venues for $4,100 per theater.

The Disney studio said ticket sales beat their own pre-weekend estimates of between $10 million and $12 million, and the movie tended to appeal to audiences over 35 years-old and slightly more women than men.   Continued...