Box office: 'Giant Slayer' stalks No. 1 spot

  • Updated: March 3, 2013 - 5:41 PM

– It wasn’t exactly a mighty victory, but “Jack the Giant Slayer” won the weekend at the box office.

The Warner Bros. 3-D action extravaganza, based on the Jack and the Beanstalk legend, made just $28 million to debut at No. 1, according to Sunday studio estimates. It had a reported budget of about $200 million.

“Jack” comes from Bryan Singer, director of “The Usual Suspects” and the first two “X-Men” movies. It stars Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, Ian McShane and Stanley Tucci.

Among other new releases, the college romp “21 & Over” from Relativity Media made $9 million this weekend to open in third place. And the horror sequel “The Last Exorcism Part II” from CBS Films debuted in fourth place.

This is the sixth weekend in a row that movie ticket sales were down, said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. One bit of good news for “Jack” is that it had a 56 percent uptick from Friday to Saturday, suggesting strong word-of-mouth and more family audiences for the PG-13 adventure.

Among the few bright spots, the Jason Bateman-Melissa McCarthy comedy “Identity Thief” has become the first film to cross the $100 million mark this year. Now in its fourth week in theaters, the Universal movie has made $107.4 million.

Meanwhile, winners at last weekend’s Academy Awards, including “Argo,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Life of Pi,” are still sticking around in the top 20 after several months in theaters, further underscoring the weakness of recent new releases.

Estimated weekend ticket sales:

1. “Jack the Giant Slayer,” $28 million.

2. “Identity Thief,” $9.7 million.

3. “21 & Over,” $9 million.

4. “The Last Exorcism Part II,” $8 million.

5. “Snitch,” $7.7 million.

6. “Escape From Planet Earth,” $6.7 million.

7. “Safe Haven,” $6.3 million.

8. “Silver Linings Playbook,” $5.9 million.

9. “A Good Day to Die Hard,” $4.5 million.

10. “Dark Skies,” $3.6 million.

Associated Press

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