‘Juno’ soars at box office

Reitman comedy in second behind 'Treasure'

Disney’s “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” continued to mint coin at the top spot of Friday’s box office with $6.4 million, but it was Fox Searchlight’s “Juno” that received a pop on the day’s chart.

After placing fifth a week ago, the Jason Reitman teen pregnancy comedy pushed its way to second yesterday with $5.2 million; repping a 56% uptick thanks to its theater expansion to 1,925.  In the midst of its fifth frame, the pic has accumulated $41 million.

Meanwhile, “Book of Secrets,” playing at 3,762 hardtops, dropped 48% from last Friday, however, its total domestic haul currently stands at $157.2 million; 60% ahead of its first installment.

Overall the first Friday of 2008 proved to be a healthy day at the box office with the top 10 pics raking in $36.8 million, a 21% gain over the first Friday of 2007.

While “Juno” hopes to latch onto second place throughout the weekend, the pic squeaked past Warner Bros. fare “One Missed Call” and “I Am Legend” which respectively filled the day’s third and fourth slots.

Frosh opener “Call” dialed up $5.17 million from 2,240 locations.  That’s the third best opening day for a horror thriller during the first frame of the New Year.  In recent years, such eerie entries as 2005’s”White Noise” and 2006’s “Hostel” posted first day takes of $8.9 million and $7.6 million respectively. “Noise” opened at $24.1 million, while “Hostel” rang up a three-day weekend B.O. of $19.6 million.

Will Smith headliner “Legend” grossed $5.16 million from 3,648, down 44%, with a total running cume of $217.5 million.

Fox’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks” crooned $4.6 million in fifth place off 3,462, a 55% decline, with a current cume of $165.3 million.

Focus Features’ playdate expansion of “Atonement” to 583 theaters propelled the period piece back into tenth place with $1.5 million, up 61%, with a total B.O. of $15.6 million through its fifth Friday.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood” mined $385,000 in B.O. gold after upping its engagements from two to 51.  Pic’s receipts yesterday repped a five fold spike from last Friday as well as the day’s largest theater average with $7,540.  Through its first 10 days, “Blood” has drawn close to $900,000 at the box office.

Picturehouse’s Spanish-lingo horror pic “The Orphanage” also saw a 99% gain from a week ago, scaring up $147,000 from 69 locales and a total B.O. of $564,000.

Warner Bros.’ Jack Nicholson-Morgan Freeman topliner “The Bucket List” charted the second highest theater average of the day with $5,289 or $85,000 from 16 playdates.  The film has grossed $1 million since opening on Christmas day.