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‘Island’ sunk by holdovers

Auds still sweet on 'Chocolate' and 'Wedding'

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Wedding Crashers” held on in their second weeks, topping a quartet of new titles, including a disappointing debut for “The Island.”

Warner Bros. reported “Charlie” grossed $28.3 million, which was off 50% from its opening, to bring its cume to $114.1 million.

Meanwhile, New Line’s “Crashers” held on extremely well, off just 23% to $26.2 million. Laffer has now grossed $80.9 million.

DreamWorks’ “The Island” posted a disappointing $12.1 million from 3,122 playdates. That put the pic at No. 4 and is the lowest debut on helmer Michael Bay’s resume — lower even than the $15.5 million opening posted by “Bad Boys in 1995.

Estimate on “Island” was a hair lower than the third week of 20th Century Fox’s “Fantastic Four,” which brought in $12.3 million.

Paramount’s remake of “Bad News Bears” opened at No. 5 with $11.2 million, playing at 3,183 theaters.

Auds go with ‘Flow’

Paramount Classics’ “Hustle & Flow” did well in its first week. Released with a 1,013-theater run, pic grossed $8.1 million to land in seventh place on the box office chart.

Likewise, Lions Gate’s Rob Zombie horror pic “The Devil’s Rejects” posted a strong number with $7 million from 1,757 locations, which put it in the No. 8 spot.

Warner Independent Pictures’ “March of the Penguins” waddled into the top 10 in its fifth week with an expansion to 695 screens. Weekend results were $4.3 million, which raises its cume to $9.2 million. Steven Friedlander said the next expansion will come Aug. 5, when the pic will move to 1,200 screens.

Warner Bros. distrib chief Dan Fellman said he was pleased with the sophomore session of “Charlie,” noting, “We look like we’re on our way to $200 million.”

He added the studio also snuck next weekend’s “Must Love Dogs” on 800 screens. Shows, he said, were 80% full, with 60% of the aud female.

DreamWorks distrib prexy Jim Tharp said of “The Island’s” weak results, “Clearly this is a disappointing opening.” However, he said, with good ratings in exit surveys (which also showed the aud was 51% male and 52% over age 25), “We can only hope that this movie finds its audience in the coming weeks.”

Par’s distrib topper Wayne Lewellen called the “Bears” bow “within the ballpark of where we thought it would open.” Demos on the Billy Bob Thornton remake showed the aud was 52% male and 68% over age 12, he said.

On “Hustle & Flow,” studio said the aud was a surprising 60% female and 64% over age 25.

Van Toffler, prexy of MTV, which acquired the pic with Par Classics at Sundance, said it was “too soon to tell” whether the pic had crossed over beyond its core of African-American and specialty auds.

Noting the pic did good biz in Southern cities like Memphis and Atlanta, as well as at specialty houses like L.A.’s Arclight, he said, “The audience was really satisfied with the movie, which gives us reason to believe that the film is going to have long legs and go beyond the Sundance indie crowd.”

Overall, Nielsen EDI estimates that total box office over the weekend was $138 million, 9.6% lower than the weekend total last year.

Year-to-date, the $4.983 billion box office tally is 7.7% behind 2004 through this point. The summer season is running 9.6% behind.

In the limited arena, Tartan opened Michael Winterbottom’s racy “9 Songs” to $14,000 at the Angelika in Gotham.

Picturehouse launched with Gus Van Sant’s “Last Days,” which opened to $85,029 off of 12 screens in Gotham, L.A., Seattle, Portland and San Francisco, for an average of $7,086.

IFC started “The Edukators” on two screens with $10,174 for an average per screen of $5,087.

Sony Pictures Classics bowed “November” with $21,403 from eight screens, for an average of $2,675 per screen.

Among the holdovers, Thinkfilm’s doc “Murderball” grossed $110,275 in its third frame from 26 screens, for an average of $4,241. Cume now stands at $269,800.

Sony Classics’ “Saraband,” also in its third week, found $44,975. Playing on 12 screens, pic averaged $3,748 per screen and now has a cume of $156,200.

Label’s “The Beautiful Country” grossed $47,658 in its third frame from 20 screens, for an average of $2,383, pushing cume to $133,803.

Lions Gate’s “Happy Endings,” in its second week, grossed $185,000 from 61 screens, for an average of $3,033. Cume stands at $541,659.

IFC’s “Me and You and Everyone We Know” grossed $379,383 from 137 screens in its sixth week of release. Per-screen average was $2,769 and cume is now a hair under $2 million.

Roadside Attractions’ “Ladies in Lavender” broke the $5 million mark in its 13th week of release. Playing 116 screens, pic grossed $195,200, raising cume to $5.1 million.

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