Western rides to the top of box office

Audiences proved willing to saddle up for Western “3:10 to Yuma,” which lassoed a solid $14.1 million on a typically soft post-Labor Day frame.

“Shoot ‘Em Up,” meanwhile, fired blanks in its pursuit of a younger male aud.

Gross for the James Mangold-directed “Yuma,” financed by Lionsgate and Relativity Media, was on the high end of most expectations. Per-play average was $5,317 at 2,652 locations.

“We feel that the results really validate our strategy of wanting to be the first Western and first prestige film of the fall,” said Lionsgate theatrical films prexy Tom Ortenberg.

Indie moved up the pic’s release to give it more breathing room before the season’s other high-profile oater, Brad Pitt starrer “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” which opens Sept. 21.

Lionsgate’s Russell Crowe-Christian Bale starrer appealed primarily to men over 25. Ortenberg predicted the pic could have a long run like the studio’s last early-opening kudos contender, “Crash.” Lionsgate is already planning an aggressive awards season campaign.

New Line’s outrageous actioner “Shoot ‘Em Up,” meanwhile, didn’t hit as many young men as the studio had targeted. Clive Owen starrer bowed in sixth place to only $5.5 million.

Dimension and MGM’s “Halloween” remake took a big fall after its boffo Labor Day weekend bow, as expected, declining 62% to $10 million, landing at No. 2. Rob Zombie-helmed horror pic’s cume is now $44.2 million

Sony’s “Superbad” crossed the $100 million mark as it fell 36% to $8 million, coming in No. 3. High school comedy has now cumed $103 million.

Rogue’s pingpong laffer “Balls of Fury” took the No. 5 spot, declining 50% in its second frame to $5.7 million. Sports parody has cumed $24.3 million.

Revolution and Sony’s “The Brothers Solomon” barely registered as it bowed on 700 theaters to a dismal $525,000.

In limited release, ThinkFilm’s astronaut docu “In the Shadow of the Moon” opened to $41,200 at four theaters in Gotham and L.A., giving it a healthy $10,300 per-print average. It expands to Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C., on Friday.

Weinstein Co. and MGM’s “The Hunting Party” were right behind with a $40,000 gross at four playdates in New York and L.A. Richard Gere starrer averaged $10,000.

Picturehouse expanded vidgame doc “King of Kong” in its fourth frame from 22 to 39 sites but saw the gross decline 30% to a reported $67,000. Per-play average was $1,718, and cume is $423,000.

Newmarket expanded John August-helmed “The Nines” from two to five plays and saw the gross decline 51% to $11,655, giving it a $1,331 average and $56,571 cume to date.

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