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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 04/26/2010

Weekend box office: 'Dragon' wins. Really.

By Jen Chaney

For the first time in two weeks, there's no photo-finish drama involved in determining which movie was the weekend's No. 1.

"How to Train Your Dragon" regained the top spot at the box office with $15 million in the bank; "The Back-Up Plan" did so-so business and landed in second; and apparently no one wanted to go to the movies this weekend. Box office revenue was down 12 percent compared to this time last year, according to the L.A. Times. And with that happy bit of news, here are your box-office bullet points:


(DreamWorks)

"How to Train Your Dragon" accomplished something rare this weekend; it regained the No. 1 position with that aforementioned $15 million after having dropped out of the coveted top spot four weeks ago. According to Box Office Mojo, a movie has returned to the numero uno position after a few weeks away only four other times in the past decade. Congrats to the "Dragon" for not only winning the weekend, but apparently, achieving the impossible box-office dream.

There wasn't a whole lot of love for J. Lo this weekend. Her "Back-Up Plan" opened with $12.2 million, which isn't a bad showing considering that many of "Dragon's" ticket sales relied on premium-priced 3-D admissions. But it's hardly a mandate for more Jennifer Lopez in cineplexes nationwide. What's the deal? Is everyone still having "Gigli" flashbacks?

America, I ask you: Why no love for "Kick-Ass"? The movie that was supposed to rock the very foundations of comic book filmdom dropped off by 50 percent this weekend and slid down to fifth place. And here I thought that a little girl with a purple wig and fierce weapons training was going to sweep the nation. How wrong I was. (For the record, the new comic book movie of the weekend, "The Losers," didn't do much better. It earned $9.6 million to "Kick-Ass's" $9.5 million.)

The under-the-sea documentary "Oceans" opened pretty well for a nature doc, earning $6 million. Surprised? You shouldn't be. This comes down to one simple, irrefutable fact: People are desperate for movies they can see with their kids. That's why "Dragon" soared its way back to No. 1. That's why people paid money to watch cuddly penguins and seals in this Disney documentary. And that's also why it's possible that a less-than-stellar Brendan Fraser movie could potentially rule the land next weekend. Speaking of next weekend...

...what do you think will be our next No. 1? Will "Furry Vengeance" -- a comedy boasting perhaps the worst title in the history of family entertainment -- emerge victorious? Or will that honor go to the rebooted "Nightmare on Elm Street"? Vote in our poll below, movie-biz prognosticators.

By Jen Chaney  | April 26, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Movies, Pop Culture  | Tags:  Movies, Weekend Box Office  
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Comments

You ask: "America, I ask you: Why no love for "Kick-Ass"?"

But I think you answered your own question with your closing parenthetical:

(For the record, the new comic book movie of the weekend, "The Losers," didn't do much better. It earned $9.6 million to "Kick-Ass's" $9.5 million.)

Looks to me like the comic book geeks split their own vote...

Posted by: klaw009x | April 26, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

My bet is that casting directors look at JLo and say "People like her, let's test her for the part." And she does a nice job with the audition and they cast her. But that nice job turns out to be the full extent of her toolbox. So the end product is kinda bland. (See also: Paltrow, Gwynneth; Portman, Natalie; Ryan, Meg.)

Side note: When I take my just-pre-teen kid to see a PG-13 movie like "Clash of the Titans", please do NOT give me extended, overly graphic trailers for "Nightmare on Elm Street" beforehand. Thank you.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | April 26, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Why no love for "Kick-Ass"? Well, without decent advertising - and I haven't really seen any at all for K-A other than print - it's hard to get the attention of us non-comic-book geeks. Fanboys (and fangirls) will only get you so many bodies in seats, so it's up to the Marketing department to broaden the appeal.

Posted by: northgs | April 26, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

We went to see How to Train Your Dragon (not in 3D) with friends and their children on Saturday afternoon (we don't have kids). The theater was PACKED with families. Loved the movie, it was great. If I was a parent of bored kids on a rainy day, I'd have no problem going to see it again. A kids' movie that adults can enjoy is worth its weight in repeat viewers gold.

Also, they showed the preview for the new Karate Kid. Much as I was against the entire idea, it looks, well, possibly entertaining. Plus, it had a really funny homage to the original ("You're the best around!").

Posted by: em15 | April 26, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

No love for Kick-Ass, and I usually love action flicks. But there's nothing cute or awesome about 11 year old children killing people, if you've read anything or seen anything about real child soldiers--which, let's face it, is what Hit Girl is. Not only that, but everything I've heard about Kick-Ass's storyline is gross and overdone. And I know they said it's supposed to be satire, but everyone I know who's seen it says it doesn't work as such, and Roger Ebert apparently agrees. In the end it's just a movie about an 11 year old child murdering people at her father's behest, and a 16 year old boy acting like a jerk and being rewarded for it (which seems to be the basis for half the movies about 16 year old boys that have come out in the past decade or two). You can say I'm overreacting all you want, but I've just got no love for crap like that, even if it comes with amazing explosions and flying corpses and such.

How to Train Your Dragon, on the other hand, was awesome, and I'm a repeat viewer. A lot of action, an ending that was a little surprising but well-handled, and a great fun plot. I wanted to see The Losers this weekend but I'll probably see it next weekend.

Posted by: dkp01 | April 26, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if Dreamworks has a plan for a film for adolescent males, starring the voice of Justin Bieber:

How to Train your Trouser Snake

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | April 26, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"Backup Plan" was so funny. The theater audience howled and howled. There isn't a man or women who have been through "it" that could muffle the hilarity of the movie. Well done, well done.

"How to Train Your Dragon" was wonderful and I believed everything that happened. Isn't that what it's all about?

"Clash of the Titans" was action, action, action. No delays. Beautiful and fantastic. I believed every bit of it too. And, isn't that what it's all about?

Posted by: MissClarty | April 26, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"Backup Plan" was so funny. The theater audience howled and howled. There isn't a man or women who have been through "it" that could muffle the hilarity of the movie. Well done, well done.

"How to Train Your Dragon" was wonderful and I believed everything that happened. Isn't that what it's all about?

"Clash of the Titans" was action, action, action. No delays. Beautiful and fantastic. I believed every bit of it too. And, isn't that what it's all about?

Posted by: MissClarty | April 26, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

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