Pirates strike top notch


“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” movie clung to the top of the North American box office, plundering 43.2 million dollars on its second weekend of release, industry estimates showed on Sunday. The Pirates’ takings were down sharply on the movie’s 126.5-million-dollar opening run the previous holiday weekend, giving it 216.5 million dollars overall from its first fortnight, said the tally from industry Exhibitor Relations. “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” has already cracked opening week records around the world, earlier pulling in 404 million dollars over six days, Walt Disney Studios said.

Judd Apatow’s comedy “Knocked Up,” the new picture from the director of “40 Year-Old Virgin” opened in second place taking 29.2 million in its first weekend. In third was the Disney “Pirates” blockbuster rival, the animated adventure “Shrek the Third.” The friendly green monster took 26.7 million in his third weekend, 50 percent down on the previous weekend’s takings.

Another new release, “Mr Brooks,” placed fourth with 10 million dollars, ahead of the summer’s other blockbuster heavyweight “Spider Man 3,” which took 7.5 million to bring its total takings to 318.2 million in its fifth week. The thriller “Mr Brooks” stars Kevin Costner as a successful businessman and serial killer.

Southern comedy “Waitress” with Cheryl Hines in the title role took two million in is fifth week, in sixth place. The weekend’s other high-earning new release was “Gracie,” about a 15-year-old girl’s determination to play soccer against boys, which took 1.35 million in its first three days, placing seventh. It is based on the real-life experience of actress Elisabeth Shue who also stars as one of the girl’s parents. The next high grosser was “Bug,” a psychological thriller from the director of the 1973 horror classic “The Exorcist,” William Friedkin, which took 1.2 million in its second week.

Rounding out the top 12 at the box office were futuristic horror sequel “28 Weeks Later” (1.2 million), the Hitchcock-inspired thriller “Disturbia” (1.2 million in its eighth week), “Georgia Rule” with Hollywood wild-child Lindsay Lohan (581 thousand), and legal drama “Fracture” (500 thousand dollars).