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''Robots'' debuts at No. 1 with $36.5 million

”Robots” debuts at No. 1 with $36.5 million. The new CGI toon pacifies Vin Diesel and holds off ”Hostage”

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Robots
Robots: Blue Sky Studios/ 20th Century Fox

As everyone expected, the ‘bots were hot. Robots opened atop the box office chart this weekend, bolting to No. 1 with a $36.5 million opening, according to studio estimates. That’s not as much cool cash as Ice Age, from the same animators, pulled down three years ago (opening with $46.3 million), but it was twice the take earned by its nearest competitor, Vin Diesel’s The Pacifier. In its second week, the XXX star’s unlikely family comedy pulled in a strong $18.1 million, for a 10-day total of $54.4 million.

The weekend’s other major new release, Bruce Willis’ Hostage, didn’t captivate too many moviegoers, grabbing just $9.8 million to open in fourth place. Holdovers in the top five included Be Cool (No. 3, $10.3 million) and Hitch (No. 5, $8.7 million).

Mel Gibson’s Lenten rerelease of The Passion of the Christ, recut to lose a few minutes of its more extreme gore, barely made a ripple at the box office, earning just $251 per screen in 957 theaters, for a total of $239,850. Lesson: The meek may inherit the Earth, but ultraviolence still rules at the box office.