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BOX OFFICE BEAT DOWN: Limitless Takes Over the Box Office with $19 Million!

By Jami Philbrick — March 20th, 2011

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE

1Limitless
2Rango
3Battle: Los Angeles
4The Lincoln Lawyer
5Paul
6Red Riding Hood
7The Adjustment Bureau
8Mars Needs Moms
9Beastly
10Hall Pass

The new alien invasion movie Battle: Los Angeles attacked the box office last week and earned $36 million in its debut. But with three new films entering the race this week including the new thriller Limitless, the alien comedy Paul, and the courtroom drama The Lincoln Lawyer, the aliens-attack-movie starring Aaron Eckhart was unable to retain its box office crown for a second week in a row.

Debuting at number one this week is the new thriller from The Illusionist director Neil Burger called Limitless. The film stars Bradley Cooper (The A-Team), as well as Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch), Anna Friel (Land of the Lost), and two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro (Goodfellas). The film made $6,894 on each of its 2,756 screens for an opening weekend total of $19 million, which earns back more than half of its initial $27 million production budget.

Holding strong at number two for the second week in a row is the new computer animated Western from Pirates of The Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl director Gore Verbinski called Rango. The film stars Oscar nominee Johnny Depp (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), as well as Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers), Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine), Bill Nighy (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End), Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2), Ray Winstone (Edge of Darkness), and Timothy Olyphant (I Am Number Four). While the movie fell 32.2% from last week, it earned $3,985 on each of its 3,843 screens for a weekend total of about $15.3 million. After three weeks of release the film has now earned about $92.5 million, which brings it closer to earning back its initial $135 million production budget.

Falling two places to number three from its debut last week is the new alien invasion movie from Darkness Falls director Jonathan Liebesman called Battle: Los Angeles. The film stars Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight), and Michelle Rodriguez (Avatar), as well as Bridget Moynahan (I, Robot), and Michael Peña (Crash). While the movie fell 59.0% from last week, it earned $4,273 on each of its 3,417 screens for a weekend total of about $14.6 million. After two weeks of release the film has now earned about $60.6 million at the box office, which brings it just shy of earning back its entire $70 million production budget.

Debuting at number four this week is the new mystery suspense thriller called The Lincoln Lawyer, based on the popular novel of the same name. The film stars Matthew McConaughey (A Time to Kill), as well as Ryan Phillippe (MacGruber), John Leguizamo (Righteous Kill), Michael Peña (World Trade Center), Josh Lucas (A Beautiful Mind), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Bob Gunton (The Shawshank Redemption), Frances Fisher (Titanic), Oscar nominee William H. Macy (Fargo), and Oscar winner Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny). The film made $4,950 on each of its 2,707 screens for an opening weekend total of $13.4 million. But the movie will need to continue to perform well in the next few weeks if it has any hope of earning back its initial $40 million production budget.

Finally, debuting at number five this week is the new sci-fi comedy from Superbad and Adventureland director Greg Mottola called Paul. The film reunites Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz stars Simon Pegg (Star Trek) and Nick Frost (Pirate Radio), and also features an all-star cast that includes Seth Rogen (The Green Hornet), Kristen Wiig (Whip It!), Bill Hader (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), Jason Bateman (The Kingdom), Jane Lynch (Role Models), David Koechner (The Comebacks), Jeffrey Tambor (Hellboy), and three-time Oscar nominee Sigourney Weaver (Avatar). The film made $4,695 on each of its 2,802 screens for an opening weekend total of $13.1 million. But the film will also need to continue to perform well in the next few weeks if it has any hope of earning back its initial $40 million production budget.

Doing well in its debut in limited release this week is the new independent sports comedy Win Win from writer/director Thomas McCarthy (The Visitor). The film stars Oscar nominee Paul Giamatti (Sideways), as well as Melanie Lynskey (Up in the Air), Bobby Cannavale (The Station Agent), Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development), Burt Young (Rocky), and Oscar nominee Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone). The film made $30,800 on each of its 5 screens for an opening weekend total of $154,000.

Next week will see the opening of two new films in wide release and one in limited release.

First up, opening in wide release next week is the latest film from visionary director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) called Sucker Punch. The film features an all-star cast that includes Emily Browning (Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events), Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical 3: Senior Year), Jena Malone (The Messenger), Abbie Cornish (Bright Star), Jamie Chung (Dragonball Evolution), Carla Gugino (Watchmen), Oscar Isaac (Robin Hood), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), and Scott Glenn (The Hunt for Red October).

Also opening in wide release next week is Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules, a sequel to last year's Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The movie stars Steve Zahn (Rescue Dawn), and Rachael Harris (The Hangover), as well as Zachary Gordon (Four Christmases), Peyton List (The Sorcerer's Apprentice), Devon Bostick (George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead), Owen Best (Tron: Legacy), and Ben Hollingsworth (The Joneses).

Finally, opening in limited release next week is the new independent comedy Peep World. The film features an all-star cast that includes Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Sarah Silverman (School of Rock), Rainn Wilson (The Office), Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation), Judy Greer (Barry Munday), Kate Mara (We Are Marshall), Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Alicia Witt (Dune), Stephen Tobolowsky (Memento), Lesley Ann Warren (The Limey), and Ron Rifkin (L.A. Confidential). So please check back in seven days to see who comes out on top at the box office next week!

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