Aniston, Pitt reunited atop box office
By Dean Goodman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Marley & Me," a canine comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, led the North American box office for a second weekend on Sunday, becoming the first Christmas holiday picture to hit $100 million.
Twentieth Century Fox's adaptation of the bestselling John Grogan memoir about a lovable Labrador retriever earned $24.1 million during the three days beginning Friday, taking its 11-day haul to $106.5 million. It marks Aniston's second consecutive $100 million-plus movie, following 2006's "The Break-Up," which finished with $118.7 million.
The rankings of the top seven pictures were unchanged from last weekend as no new films opened in wide release.
The Adam Sandler family comedy "Bedtime Stories" was No. 2 with $20.3 million, and a total of $85.4 million. Aniston's former husband Brad Pitt followed with the aging-backward fable "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," which earned $18.4 million, and a total of $79.0 million. As with "Marley & Me," they were released on Christmas Day.
A pair of Nazi-themed films opened in two theaters each. "Defiance," a Jewish resistance picture starring Daniel Craig, earned a strong $121,000 during the weekend, ahead of its national launch on January 16. Less promising was the Viggo Mortensen vehicle "Good," with just $9,300.
CLINT REVS UP "GRAN TORINO"
The focus is now shifting to Oscar hopefuls that are preparing to expand into national release as awards season heats up. Among them are actor/director Clint Eastwood's suburban drama "Gran Torino," which goes wide on Friday, and actor Mickey Rourke's comeback vehicle "The Wrestler," which will enter the national ring on January 23.
"Gran Torino," which has earned $9.7 million after playing in under 100 theaters for four weekends, will widen to about 2,700 theaters on Friday. Eastwood plays a grizzled widower who takes on neighborhood bullies. Continued...