LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Disney animated fairy tale “Tangled” knocked British boy wizard Harry Potter from the top of movie box office charts on the weekend, claiming No. 1 with $21.5 million during a slow weekend in theaters, according to studio estimates on Sunday.
After two straight weeks at No. 1, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” fell to second place, ringing up $16.7 million and pushing its total ticket sales in the United States and Canada to just over $244 million in three weeks for the Warner Bros. studio, a unit of Time Warner Inc.
Family film “Tangled,” based on the tale of long-haired Rapunzel who longs to escape from her tower in the forest, has now raked in more than $96 million in two weeks for The Walt Disney Co.
The only new movie in wide release, action flick “The Warrior’s Way,” opened a distant ninth with just under $3.1 million for its backers at privately held Relativity Media.
The weekend following the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday is traditionally a slow period in movie theaters after a crush of major releases during the preceding weekend.
This year was no exception with total U.S. and Canadian tickets sales of $88 million, marking the second slowest weekend of the entire year behind the $81.8 million taken in during the September 10 weekend, which followed the U.S. Labor Day holiday, according to figures from Hollywood.com Box Office.
Of the other holdover films in theaters, runaway train thriller “Unstoppable” with Denzel Washington and musical “Burlesque,” starring Christina Aguilera and Cher, nearly tied in the No. 3 and No. 4 rankings with $6.1 million each.
In its second week in theaters, “Burlesque” has sold just under $27 million worth of tickets for its Sony Screen Gems studio, a division of Sony Corp’s, while “Unstoppable” has taken in roughly $69 million in four weeks for News Corp unit 2Oth Century Fox.
Rounding out the top five movies was romance “Love and Other Drugs,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway. It sold $5.7 million worth of tickets and boosted its total to $22.6 million in two weeks in theaters for its studio, Fox.
One bright spot was the limited release of Oscar-hopeful drama “Black Swan,” starring Natalie Portman as a troubled ballerina. It opened in only eight cities and raked in a $1.4 million for an average of roughly $77,500 per theater. It marks the best, per-theater debut ever for a film from Fox specialty division, Fox Searchlight. The movie will expand around the United States in the weeks ahead.
Another drama looking for Oscar buzz, “The King’s Speech” took in an average of $54,300 in six locations, pushing its total box office to just over $800,000 in two weeks in theaters for privately held Weinstein Co.
By contrast, a major release like “Tangled” played in over 3600 venues for a per-theater average of just under $6000.
Reporting by Bob Tourtellotte; Editing by Eric Walsh