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Posted at 9:40 PM ET, 03/ 6/2011

Weekend box office: 'Rango' wrangles top spot

By Jen Chaney
"Rango": charming moviegoers with his good looks. (ILM -- Associated Press)

When Johnny Depp becomes a talking chameleon, people listen. Or at least buy movie tickets.

That's one of the takeaways from the weekend box office results, which found the animated "Rango" sitting in the No. 1 spot.

Aside from Johnny Depp and co., who else deserves congratulations, as well as condolences? Let's find out as we parse the box office figures and run down the list of the top five movies of the weekend.

Congratulations to...

"Pirates" crew Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp: The director of the first three "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies and his Capt. Jack Sparrow proved they can still make box office magic courtesy of "Rango." The weekend's No. 1 movie earned $38 million, the strongest opening of 2011 so far.

Matt Damon and his "Adjustment Bureau": The politics-meets-romance-meets-sci-fi thriller opened respectably in second place with $20.9 million. That's close to the first-week total earned by Damon's last film, "True Grit," which made $24.8 million during its debut weekend. It's also almost as much as "Hereafter" made in its entire theatrical run.

The Oscar-winning Best Picture: "The King's Speech," which established its popularity well before snagging several Academy Awards last weekend, didn't get a bump from its Best Picture victory. But it held pretty steady with only an 11% drop in business and another $6.5 million in its decidedly royal pockets.

"Beastly" stars Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer: "Beastly" only earned $10.1 million, enough to land third place. But given how, well, beastly its reviews were -- and what lousy tabloid press Pettyfer has been getting lately, this counts as a triumph.

Condolences to...

Topher Grace: His 80s-set comedy "Take Me Home Tonight" was not even close to totally awesome. In fact, it didn't even crack the top 10, landing in 11th place with a feeble $3.5 million. Is this the end of '80s nostalgia, or just what happens to less-than-well-received rom-coms?

Justin Bieber: HIs "Never Say Never" suffered the biggest drop of any movie in the top 10, falling off in ticket sales by 53.9% and landing in 10th place. The 3D Biebs-travaganza has made $68.8 million on a budget of $13 million, though, so all in all, not too shabby.

The movie industry in general: After a dismal year so far, this weekend didn't exactly inspire more confidence; as the New York Times noted, business was down 31 percent compared to this time last year.

Now, your top five movies...

1. "Rango" -- $38 million
2. "The Adjustment Bureau" -- $20.9 million
3. "Beastly" -- $10.1 million
4. "Hall Pass" -- $9 million
5. "Gnomeo and Juliet" -- $6.9 million

...and your opportunity to predict next week's box office winner:

By Jen Chaney  | March 6, 2011; 9:40 PM ET
Categories:  Box Office, Movies  
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Comments

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Posted by: joanjries | March 7, 2011 2:54 AM | Report abuse

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