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'Shutter Island' on a familiar Scorsese-DiCaprio box office track [updated]

February 28, 2010 | 12:30 pm

Shutter "Shutter Island" is starting to look a lot like Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio's last collaboration, "The Departed."

Though the new thriller opened to $41 million, compared with $26.9 million for the 2006 crime drama, "Shutter" saw domestic ticket sales decline a studio-estimated 46% this weekend, its second, while "The Departed" dropped only 29%. 

"Shutter Island' is now on track to end up with a final domestic gross very close to that of "The Departed," which finished its run at $132.4 million. 

If that represents a habit for collaborations between the director and star, it's good news for Hollywood at a time when the only predictable outcome of late for R-rated dramas has been disappointment, with pictures including "Body of Lies," "The International," "The Informant" and "The Wolfman." [Update, 3:27 p.m.: A previous version of this post incorrectly included "Duplicity" on this list. It was not rated R.]

Paramount Pictures should end up in good shape on "Shutter Island," which a representative said cost $75 million after tax credits (one person close to the production said the initial cost was close to $100 million).

It remains to be seen, however, whether the new movie can come anywhere close to the $157.5-million international box office total of "The Departed." After opening in 20 foreign territories so far, including France, Germany, and Australia, "Shutter Island" has taken in $34 million. Major markets including Britain, Japan and all of Latin America are yet to come.

Among this weekend's new movies, Warner Bros.' buddy comedy "Cop Out" had the edge, debuting to $18.6 million compared with $16.5 million for Overture Films' horror remake "The Crazies." But "Cop Out" cost $37 million to produce, about twice as much as "The Crazies."

Both movies got an unimpressive average grade from audiences of B-, according to market research firm CinemaScore, meaning they likely won't be propelled by good word-of-mouth in the coming weeks.

Of the three big movies that opened over Presidents Day weekend two weeks ago, "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief" is showing by far the best staying power. Its ticket sales declined only 36% this weekend, putting it ahead of "Valentine's Day" and "The Wolfman," which debuted at the same time.

The ensemble romantic comedy "Valentine's Day" crossed the $100-million mark this weekend after debuting to a huge $56.3 million. Internationally, it has reached $95.4 million.

"Wolfman" started in a virtual tie with "Percy," with both pictures opening to just over $31 million in the U.S. and Canada. However Universal's monster-movie remake has quickly dropped, taking in only $57.2 million domestically so far and $63.3 million overseas. "Percy Jackson" has grossed $71.2 million domestically and $95.4 million overseas.

In limited release domestically, Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer" expanded from four to 43 theaters and took in a healthy $870,000, or more than $20,000 per location. Its total after 10 days is $1.1 million.

Sony Pictures Classics debuted "A Prophet," from France -- Oscar nominee for best foreign language film -- to a solid $170,000 at nine theaters in Los Angeles, New York and Montreal.

Here are the top 10 movies at the domestic box office, according to studio estimates and Hollywood.com:

1. "Shutter Island" (Paramount): $22.2 million, down 46% on its second weekend. $19 million overseas in 20 foreign territories. Domestic total: $75.1 million. International total: $34 million.

2. "Cop Out" (Warner Bros.): Opened to $18.6 million.

3. "The Crazies" (Overture/Participant/Imagenation): Opened to $16.5 million.

4. "Avatar" (Fox/Dune/Ingenious): $14 million, down 14% on its 11th weekend. $36.1 million overseas in 70 foreign markets. Domestic total: $706.9 million. International total: $1.84 billion.

5. "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief" (Fox/Dune/Ingenious): $9.8 million, down 36% on its third weekend. $19 million overseas in 65 foreign markets. Domestic total: $71.2 million. International total: $95.4 million.

6. "Valentine's Day" (Warner Bros./New Line): $9.5 million, down 43% on its third weekend. $10.4 million overseas in 58 foreign markets. Domestic total: $100.4 million. International total: $87.4 million.

7. "Dear John" (Sony/Relativity): $5 million, down 30% on its fourth weekend. Domestic total: $72.6 million.

8. "The Wolfman" (Universal/Relativity): $4.1 million, down 58% on its third weekend. $10.8 million overseas in 57 markets. Domestic total: $57.2 million. International total: $63.3 million.

9. "The Tooth Fairy" (Fox/Walden): $3.5 million, down 21% on its sixth weekend. Domestic total: $53.9 million.

10. "Crazy Heart" (Fox Searchlight): $2.5 million, down 14% on its 11th weekend. Domestic total: $25.1 million.

-- Ben Fritz

Photo: Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo and Leonardo DiCaprio in "Shutter Island." Credit: Andrew Cooper / Paramount Pictures

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