‘Madagascar’ tops box office

“Madagascar” and “The Longest Yard” managed to do in their second weekend what they couldn’t in their first: beat “Star Wars.” Meanwhile, the crop of fresh titles debuted softly — Universal’s “Cinderella Man” had the best showing among the newcomers, generating $18.6 million from 2,812 theaters. Encouraged by good reviews and strong tracking, industry expectations had been for “Cinderella Man” to open past $20 million. As for the zoo crew, DreamWorks’ CGI toon moved up to the No. 1 spot with $28.7 million in the session, a modest 39% from last weekend’s three-day number. This pushed its 10-day cume to $101 million. The movie passed the century mark one day faster than the original “Shrek” and five days quicker than last fall’s “Shark Tale.” “Madagascar’s” feat — claiming the B.O. crown in its second week after failing to open in the top spot — is exceedingly rare in this age of steep second-week declines. Also moving up on the chart was Paramount’s “The Longest Yard” which at $26.1 million, a mellow 45% drop, claimed the No. 2 spot. With a two-week total of $95.8 million, the football remake is running ahead of star Adam Sandler’s biggest picture, “Big Daddy,” which ultimately garnered $163 million. Though it dropped in the rankings, Fox’s “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” is still doing massive business. Its weekend result of $26 million won it the crown for the fastest movie to gross $300 million. George Lucas’s sci-fi finale hit the rarefied mark on Saturday, its 17th day of release, which is a day sooner than previous record-holder “Shrek 2.” With a cume of $308.8 million, “Sith” passed the 1977 original’s $307 million haul and is now the second-biggest grosser in the series, behind only “The Phantom Menace’s” $431 million run. Opening at No. 5 was Warner Bros.’ “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” which collected $10.2 million over the weekend from 2,583 venues. Since bowing on Wednesday, it has taken in $14 million.

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