Niagara Gazette

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February 18, 2008

MOVIES: ‘Jumper’ hurtles to top of weekend box office

The globe-trotting thriller “Jumper” leaped to a box office win with $27.2 million on a weekend when Hollywood offered something for everyone, with new films for action fans, teens, family audiences and the date-movie crowd.

Starring Hayden Christensen and Samuel L. Jackson in the tale of a man who can teleport himself instantly to any spot on the planet, 20th Century Fox’s “Jumper” has rung up $33.9 million since opening Thursday, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The new wide releases opened a day early, Valentine’s Day on Thursday, to get a head start at what studio executives viewed as a long holiday weekend, with President’s Day on Monday.

“Valentine’s Day has become a great movie-going day,” said 20th Century Fox distribution executive Bert Livingston. “Even though kids are not out of school and people are working, it’s still a holiday in the sense that in the evening, men take their wives, or girlfriends and boyfriends go out. Everybody goes to the movies.”

Debuting in second place was Disney’s teen dance sequel “Step Up 2 the Streets,” which pulled in $19.7 million for the weekend and $26.3 million since Thursday.

Paramount’s family fantasy “The Spiderwick Chronicles,” featuring Freddie Highmore and Mary-Louise Parker in the story of a mom and her kids who move into a house menaced by evil creatures, opened at No. 3 with a $19.1 million weekend. Since Thursday, it has taken in $26.8 million.

Universal’s romance “Definitely, Maybe,” with Ryan Reynolds as a dad looking back on his romantic life after he’s served with divorce papers, premiered at No. 5 with a weekend haul of $9.7 million.

The previous weekend’s top movie, the Warner Bros. romantic comedy “Fool’s Gold,” fell to fourth place with $13.1 million, raising its 10-day total to $42 million.

Despite the rush of solid openings, Hollywood was unable to match the weekend business of a year ago. The top 12 movies took in $119 million, down 16 percent from the same weekend in 2007, when “Ghost Rider” opened with $45.4 million, the best debut ever over President’s Day weekend.

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