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''Sahara'' dusts the box office competition

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Penelope Cruz, Sahara, ...

Action proved a bigger draw than romance at the box office this weekend, as Matthew McConaughey’s Sahara premiered better than Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore’s Fever Pitch and claimed the top spot.

Sahara, also starring Steve Zahn and Penelope Cruz, opened with a decent $18.5 million, compared to a so-so $13 million for Fever Pitch. Even though last weekend’s No. 1 film, Sin City, slipped 52 percent in its second weekend, its $14.1 million was still good enough for second place, ahead of Pitch. Too bad the Red Sox’s good fortune didn’t rub off on Drew and Jimmy.

Meanwhile, returning comedies Guess Who and Beauty Shop tied for fourth place, each grossing $7.1 million. With The Amityville Horror and The Interpreter opening in the next two weeks, multiplexes should remain relatively quiet until Kingdom of Heaven, Star Wars Episode III, and the other big guns of summer.

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