BOX OFFICE BEAT DOWN: ‘Fast & Furious’ Runs Over the Competition with $72.5 Million in First Place

‘Monsters Vs. Aliens’ still fighting in second place with $33.5 million.
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Weekend Box Office

1) Fast & Furious $72.5 million

2) Monsters Vs. Aliens $33.5 million

3) The Haunting in Connecticut $9.5 million

4) Knowing $8.1 million

5) I Love You, Man $7.8 million

6) Adventureland $6 million

7) Duplicity $4.3 million

8) Race to Witch Mountain $3.3 million

9) 12 Rounds $2.3 million

10) Sunshine Cleaning $1.8 million

The fourth installment in the popular drag racing series Fast & Furious raged out of the gate with an incredible $72.5 million opening, becoming not only the number one movie of the weekend, but also the top opening film of 2009. It bested last weekend's Monsters Vs. Aliens awesome opening take by over $10 million. Not bad for a bunch of has-beens searching for past glory. Audiences came out in droves to see the original cast do it once again in a proper sequel. And the buzz has been deafening. It's a hit!

Speaking of Monsters Vs. Aliens, the DreamWorks 3D animated film dropped into second place this weekend, earning another $33.5 million. That takes its cumulative gross over the $100 million mark for a total of $105 million. The economy might be in the pits, but theaters certainly aren't feeling the hit just yet.

This week's only other major new release was Adventureland, Greg Mottola's follow up to 2007's Superbad. The film debuted in sixth place with $6 million. Though that may seem like peanuts compared to the buffo box office raked in by Justin Lin's Fast & Furious, you have to consider that the film opened in two thousand fewer theaters.

Four independent films opened this weekend as well. Gigantic had the best per screen average out of the quartet, earning $10,500 on just one screen. Paris 36 earned $10,314 on each of its seven screens for a total of $322,000. The Song of Sparrows took in $9,300 on its one screen. While the baseball drama Sugar was able to squeeze $71,200 from its eleven screens.

Will Dom and Brian be able to keep their engines revved-up throughout the coming weekend? Its doubtful, as the powerhouse that is Miley Cyrus hits the big screen next week in Hannah Montana: The Movie, alongside Seth Rogen in the mall cop comedy Observe and Report and the manga adaptation Dragonball Evolution. Someone's going to come looking for a fight! That's for sure.

Monsters Vs. Aliens was released March 27th, 2009.

The Haunting in Connecticut was released March 27th, 2009.

Duplicity was released March 20th, 2009.

Race to Witch Mountain was released March 13th, 2009.

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