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''The Interpreter'' tops the box office

”The Interpreter” tops the box office — With $22.8 million, the thriller, starring two Oscar winners, easily trumps Ashton Kutcher’s romantic comedy

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Sean Penn, Nicole Kidman, ...

What do you get when you cross two Oscar-winning actors with an Oscar-winning director? Well, $22.8 million, give or take.

Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn’s new thriller, The Interpreter, directed by Sydney Pollack, grossed exactly that in its first weekend, a bit higher than some analysts had projected. It helped that its main competition tanked, but more on that later.

Second place went to the remake of The Amityville Horror, which dropped 40 percent from its $23.5 million debut to $14.2 million, while Sahara slipped 31 percent to $9 million, good enough for third position.

The flop of the weekend was surely A Lot Like Love, the new romantic comedy from Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet, which premiered with a disappointing $7.7 million. With Guess Who only five weeks old, perhaps moviegoers are suffering from Kutcher overkill. And Kung Fu Hustle placed fifth, grossing $7.3 million in its first weekend in wide release. Had Hustle, with no A-list names in the cast, actually topped A Lot Like Love, it would have seemed more like an episode of Punk’d.