‘Who’s’ there at the top again

Fox family film fares well over holiday weekend

Fox’s “Horton” heard victory cheers for the second frame in a row, as the CGI toon beat out another solid bow for Tyler Perry and a weak opening for Judd Apatow and Owen Wilson’s “Drillbit Taylor.”

“Horton Hears a Who” declined 45% in its second frame to $25.1 million, easily beating out a solid $20 million debut for “Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns” from Lionsgate and Par’s Wilson starrer “Drillbit Taylor,” which managed only $10.2 million. New Regency horror pic “Shutter,” distribbed by Fox, was just barely ahead at $10.7 million.

“Horton,” the latest toon from Fox’s Blue Sky studio, had a very strong Good Friday, dropping just 23% to $10.3 million, but had a much tougher time the rest of Easter weekend. Decline was bigger than that of Blue Sky’s original “Ice Age,” which opened almost identically at $46.3 million then declined 35%, but smaller than that of “Ice Age: the Meltdown” and similar to “Robots.”

Per-play average was $6,337 at 3,961 theaters. Cume after some very strong weekdays during spring break is $86.5 million.

Though Apatow couldn’t miss last year with “Knocked Up” and “Superbad,” “Drillbit Taylor,” which he produced, scored the second miss in a row for the multi-hyphenate, behind Christmas release “Walk Hard,” which he also produced. It’s also the second lowest for Wilson, behind 2004’s “The Big Bounce.”

Comedy averaged just $3,338 per play at 3,056 locations. Auds were 60% under 25, leading Par to hope it’ll get some benefit from kids out on spring break in the next few weeks.

“Meet the Browns” was only the fourth highest of Tyler Perry’s five pics, though it was just slightly behind October’s “Why Did I Get Married?” and 2005’s “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” “Madea’s Family Reunion,” which opened to $30 million in 2006, remains the actor-helmer’s biggest film.

Average was a very healthy $9,977 at 2,006 theaters.

New Regency’s “Shutter,” distribbed by Fox, had a similarly soft bow of $10.7 million, in line with expectations. Remake of the Thai horror film had a per theater average of $3,887 at 2,753 locations.

Fox Searchlight and the Weinstein Co. had their own bragging rights, meanwhile, as “Under the Same Moon” broke the record for the biggest opening of a Spanish-language film in the U.S., grossing 2.6 million from 266 locations.

“Under the Same Moon,” distributed by the Weinstein Co. and marketed by Fox Searchlight, easily beat the previous record for a Spanish language pic, Lionsgate’s “Ladron que roba a ladron,” which bowed to $1.6 million.

Indie studios reported that the pic, which opened Wednesday and has cumed $3.3 million, succeeded with two different auds.

“It played like a very commercial film in Latino communities and showed some real strength at arthouses,” said Fox Searchlight topper Peter Rice.

Harvey Weinstein added that he thought a careful rollout in arthouses could lead the film to do as well as Miramax’s 1990 release “Cinema Paradiso,” which cumed almost $12 million, while staying strong with native Spanish speakers.

Pic also opened this weekend in Mexico, where it grossed $1.7 million and had the biggest bow this year for a local title.

Among holdovers, Lionsgate’s heist film “The Bank Job” continued to show phenomenal legs, dropping just 19% on its third frame after a 15% decline last weekend. Jason Statham starrer grossed $4.1 million and has already cumed $19.4 million.

Summit’s fighting pic “Never Back Down” fell 43% on its second weekend to $4.9 million. Cume is $16.8 million.

“Doomsday” fell 56% on its second frame, landing the Universal horror film outside of the top 10 at $2.2 million.

In limited release, Intl. Film Circuit bowed Adam Carolla starrer “The Hammer” at 20 theaters and grossed a so-so $107,045, or $5,352 per play.

IFC’s French import “Love Songs” bowed at two playdates to a healthy $21,906, or $10,953 per theater.

Sony Pictures Classics expanded Oscar winner “The Counterfeiters” in its fifth week from 72 to 92 playdates and saw its gross rise 23% to $515,504. Cume is $1.9 million.

SPC’s dark romantic comedy “Married Life” got 10 new screens on its third frame and grossed $155,854, up 59%. Per play average was $4,870 and the cume is $369,646.

IFC grew Gus Van Sant-helmed “Paranoid Park” from 22 to 36 theaters and grew the gross 33% to $100,836. Per theater average was $2,801 and the total take is now $252,105.

Warner Independent expanded “Snow Angels” from 3 to 15 playdates on its third weekend and grew the gross 108% to $53,000. Drama averaged $3,533 and has cumed $116,000. Next weekend, it will hit the top 25 markets.

Anchor Bay Entertainment bowed poker mockumentary “The Grand” at two theaters in Gotham and L.A., where it grossed $16,256, or $8,128 per play.

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