‘Ninja’ takes ‘Metro’ for a B.O. ride

As Sony’s “Beverly Hills Ninja” and Buena Vista’s “Metro” remained virtually tied for first place at the box office through Sunday, Sony claimed victory Monday for the four-day Martin Luther King Day frame.

“Ninja” will finish the holiday weekend with $12.6 million, according to Sony’s projections, while BV predicts $11.9 million for “Metro.”

In making the estimate, Sony Pictures Releasing president Jeff Blake noted that R-rated pictures historically have suffered sharp drop-offs on the Monday following the King Day holiday weekend, while PG-13 and PG films have fared better.

“Metro,” an action comedy, has an R rating; youth-oriented comedy “Ninja” was tagged PG-13.

BV’s “Evita” ruled of the No. 3 spot, with an estimated $8.6 million for the four-day period.

The studio upwardly revised its Monday projection slightly after the biopic received a number of Golden Globe awards Sunday.

After 10 days in wide release, the musical has cumed $22.6 million.

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