UPDATE: Kick-Ass Takes First Place

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UPDATE: Final figures show that Kick-Ass got first place after all with $19,828,687 domestically. How to Train Your Dragon came in at #2 with $19,633,320. Below is the original article based on yesterday’s estimated figures…

The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

There are times when things don’t exactly go as planned at the box office and that was certainly the case this weekend as a movie that has been relaxing in second or third place for the past few weeks jumped back to #1, leaving the two new movies out in the cold, as neither of them lived up to their expectations.

Maybe it wasn’t too surprising for those who have seen DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon, currently the best reviewed wide release of the year, with word-of-mouth driving its box office since opening moderately four weeks ago. This weekend, it added another $20 million (estimated) to its total box office take of $160 million, jumping from third place back up to #1 for the first time since its opening weekend, leaving new and returning movies alike eating its dust. Internationally, “Dragon” added $15.5 million to bring its foreign total to $176.5 million. Worldwide, the film has earned $336.5 million.

Having been picked up last August by Lionsgate from director/producer Matthew Vaughn, the dark superhero comedy Kick-Ass, based on the comic book series by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., looked to have the best chances at winning the weekend, the company having put a lot of money into marketing, realizing how much was at stake. (Lionsgate is currently at the center of a hostile takeover attempt by Carl Icahn.) Despite solid reviews and buzz from early promo screenings, the action flick starring Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Nicolas Cage and Chloe Moretz opened with a disappointing $19.7 million in 3,065 theaters, roughly $6.3k per site, which meant it had to settle for second place in its debut weekend. (Conflicting reports have the cost of the movie ranging from $30 to 45 million, which means that it should still be profitable when all things are considered.)

In third place, the Tina Fey-Steve Carell comedy Date Night (20th Century Fox), which just missed the top spot last weekend, dropped a mere 31% in its second outing, to make $17.3 million with a total of $49.2 million.

It also edged out the weekend’s other new movies, the R-rated ensemble comedy remake Death at a Funeral (Screen Gems/Sony), which brought together Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Tracy Morgan and an all-star cast to the tune of $17 million in 2,459 theaters. Though somewhat below expectations with its fourth place opening, the comedy did claim the higher per-theater average for the weekend with just under $7,000 per site.

Last week’s #1 movie, Louis Letterier’s action epic Clash of the Titans (Warner Bros.), starring Sam Worthington and Gemma Arterton, dropped to fifth place with $15.8 million in its third weekend, down 41%, with a total of $133 million. Internationally, “Clash” topped the box office a third straight weekend with $53.6 million from 57 markets. The film has earned $188.7 million overseas and $321.7 million worldwide.

Sixth place went to the Miley Cyrus drama The Last Song (Disney/Touchstone), based on the Nicholas Sparks novel, which added $5.8 million to its own total to $50 million.

Tyler Perry’s sequel Why Did I Get Married Too? (Lionsgate) was hit hard for a second week in a row, dropping 62% to seventh place with $4.2 million and $54.8 million total.

Eighth and ninth place went to the MGM comedy Hot Tub Time Machine and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, respectively, each with roughly $3.5 million. The latter has grossed $324 million domestically and over $827 million worldwide, making it the biggest blockbuster hit of the year so far; Hot Tub Time Machine has grossed a moderate but adequate $42.5 million.

Opening in limited release in 193 theaters, the dark comedy The Joneses (Roadside Attractions), starring Demi Moore and David Duchovny, brought in $554 thousand, averaging $2,870 per site, while the long-delayed sports drama The Perfect Game (Freestyle Releasing) opened in twice as many theaters, grossing less than $500 thousand. The Oscar-winning Argentinian film The Secret in Their Eyes (Sony Pictures Classics) scored $176 thousand in ten theaters, while the acclaimed documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, the film debut from enigmatic street artist Banksy, achieved the higher per-theater average of the weekend ($20.7k per site) to make $166 thousand in just eight theaters in select cities.

Click here for the full box office results of the top 12 films.

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