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Posted at 11:26 AM ET, 04/12/2010

Weekend box office: 'Night' by a nose

By Jen Chaney

As of this moment, it appears that "Date Night" was the No. 1 movie at the weekend box office. But after more official figures are released later today, that could change. How did this happen? Please proceed to this week's box office bullet points to find out.

Fey and Carell, on their "Date Night." (Myles Aronowitz/Fox)

The competition between Steve Carell/Tina Fey comedy "Date Night" and "Clash of the Titans" was so fierce that the studio estimates released Sunday gave "Night" the edge over "Titans," but only by about $200,000. Those estimates indicate that "Date Night" earned $27.1 million, with "Titans" snagging $26.9 million and "How to Train Your Dragon" hanging nicely in the race with $25.4 million. The last time we had a squeaker like this, to the best of my memory, was last summer, when "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" ultimately prevailed over "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" after initial studio estimates indicated a tie for No. 1.

More solid figures will be released later today, but it's looking like "Date Night" wins by a nose. More exciting than the Masters, isn't it? Then again, doesn't take much...

In a victory for those who still appreciate movies that only boast a couple of dimensions, it should be noted that this marks the first time in five weeks that the No. 1 movie in America is *not* in 3D.

"Clash of the Titans" may have come in second, but don't weep for the Kraken. The remake still sailed past the $100 million mark in recent days, and has made more than $119 million overseas. And that means the odds of it becoming a trilogy, as director Louis Leterrier has mentioned, are looking better. Better being, you know, a subjective term.

"The Runaways" had an unimpressive opening. Rolling out in just 204 theaters around the country, it only made $470,000, putting it in 17th place. That's less than "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," which is only playing in 125 locations and earned $557K over the weekend.

"Letters to God," the story of a young cancer victim who writes letters to the Almighty, snuck into the top 10 at No. 10, with $1.25 million. The faith-based picture -- like the recent "To Save a Life," which earned $3.7 million -- appealed to Christian moviegoers and did reasonably well revenue-wise, despite playing on fewer than 900 screens and lacking a widespread marketing campaign.

And now, we turn to next week, when the prevailing wisdom suggests "Date Night" will be dethroned by the subversive comic-book action-fest known as "Kick-Ass." Do you agree, or do you see another movie climbing to the top next weekend? Cast your vote in the poll below.

By Jen Chaney  | April 12, 2010; 11:26 AM ET
Categories:  Movies  
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