Score one for the chicks. The romantic comedy ”How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” topped the action comedy ”Shanghai Knights” to claim the No. 1 spot at the box office this weekend.
”How to Lose a Guy,” starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey, premiered with $24.1 million, according to studio estimates. Its tally outperformed even the most optimistic expectations — in fact, EW.com was one of the few prognosticators that predicted it would open at No. 1. And though its opening-weekend take is well shy of the romantic-comedy record of $35.7 million held by ”Sweet Home Alabama,” it did top the $22.4 million debut of the recent surprise hit ”Save the Last Dance,” which also featured a young female star, Julia Stiles. Paramount’s aggressive marketing and release pattern (the film opened in almost 3,000 theaters) apparently counteracted against the horrible reviews the film received.
A bit behind in second place was the sequel ”Shanghai Knights,” starring Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson, which debuted with a still-impressive $19.8 million. Chan’s last entry, ”The Tuxedo,” premiered last year with $15.1 million. In other words, when it comes to box office draws, Jennifer Love Hewitt is no Owen Wilson.
As expected, the award-winning musical ”Chicago” expanded to third place with $10.7 million, bringing its total up to a razzle-dazzling $63.7 million. After this Tuesday’s Oscar nominations, where ”Chicago” could very well be the top nominee, the film should continue to soar past $100 million.
Last week’s top two films rounded out the top five. The Al Pacino/Colin Farrell thriller ”The Recruit” fell 42 percent to $9.5 million, while the horror sequel ”Final Destination 2” slipped 46 percent to $8.7 million. That meant the new comedy ”Deliver Us From Eva” opened outside the top five with $7.1 million. Perhaps audiences didn’t realize that its star, James Todd Smith, was actually LL Cool J?