"Up" retains altitude, tops box office again

Mon Jun 8, 2009 1:17am EDT
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By Bernie Woodall

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Up," the story of a floating house, its grumpy 78-year-old owner and an inquisitive 8-year-old accidental stowaway, remained atop the weekend box office in North America, selling $44.2 million of tickets its second weekend in theaters.

The family-friendly Disney/Pixar animated release about a house lifted by colorful balloons and the odd couple's adventures showed surprising staying power. Its weekend gross was down 35 percent from its opening weekend but still made a strong showing for a film in its second week.

Movie industry analysts had predicted that "Up" would bring in less than $40 million.

"The Hangover," released by Warner Bros. Pictures, was a close second at $43.3 million. The film about a group of men trying to reconstruct what happened at a wild, Las Vegas bachelor party benefited from a good buzz and positive reviews. It also was the first big comedy released after a month dominated by action flicks.

Universal's "Land of the Lost," a new release starring Will Ferrell, finished a disappointing third at $19.5 million. It is a remake of a mid-1970s U.S. children's television series.

Four of the top five films attracted families with small children as recession-weary parents continued to seek entertainment at the movies.

"Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," collected $14.7 million and landed in the No. 4 spot. It made about $54 million when it opened two weekends ago, and has taken in $127 million overall.

"Star Trek," a Paramount issue, also showed staying power, finishing fifth for the weekend in its fifth week of release. It brought in $8.4 million. Its cumulative total stands at $223 million.   Continued...

<p>French singer Charles Aznavour (L) and voice actor Tom Trouffier point in unison on a pier during a photocall for the animated film "Up" by director Peter Docter at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival May 13, 2009. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau</p>