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First look: 'Hangover' down only 26%, 'Pelham' so-so, 'Imagine That' DOA

June 14, 2009 |  8:42 am

HangoverCheer Evolving from a strong opener to one of the summer's biggest movies, "The Hangover" declined just 26% on its second weekend, the smallest such drop for any movie in wide release this summer. That's a sign of solid word-of-mouth and expanding interest among moviegoers who may have been initially skeptical about the R-rated comedy's appeal.

With neither of the weekend's two new movies, "The Taking of Pelham 123" or "Imagine That," posting impressive numbers, "The Hangover" came in a comfortable No. 1 with a studio-estimated $33.4 million. Budgeted at only $35 million, the film, financed by Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, already has generated ticket sales worth $105.4 million in its first 10 days and likely will earn more than $200 million by the time its domestic box-office run is complete.

Disney's "Up" continued to impress as well, falling only 31% on its third weekend to $30.5 million. The latest Pixar-produced movie has sold $187.2 million worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada, continuing the animation studio's unbroken record of hits.

"The Taking of Pelham 123" was the latest adult thriller to struggle to find a big audience, as it opened to $25 million. Although far from disastrous, that's a soft start for a film budgeted at more than $100 million. Co-financiers Sony Pictures and Relativity Media are counting on stars John Travolta and Denzel Washington to deliver a bigger audience overseas if the film is to be a success, as has happened with Sony's "Angels and Demons."

There's no good news for Paramount this weekend, however. Its Eddie Murphy family comedy "Imagine That" debuted to a very anemic $5.7 million, well below already weak expectations. The film, which cost $55 million, is now summer's second biggest flop after "Land of the Lost," which has grossed just $35 million in its first 10 days.

-- Ben Fritz

Photo: Zach Galfianakis, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha and Bradley Cooper in "The Hangover." Credit: Frank Masi / Warner Bros.