Weekend Box Office Results

‘How to Lose a Guy’ Finds Box Office Gold
LOS ANGELES – Critics called it a bad date movie, but “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” courted movie-goers to the tune of $24.1 million in its first weekend for a No. 1 debut.
The martial-arts action comedy “Shanghai Knights” opened in second place with $19.8 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
The musical “Chicago,” which tripled its theater count to 1,841 cinemas, climbed to No. 3 with $10.7 million, lifting its total to $63.7 million since opening in limited release at Christmas.
The previous weekend’s top movie, the spy thriller “The Recruit,” fell to fourth place with $9.5 million.
The weekend’s other new wide release, the romantic comedy “Deliver Us From Eva” starring LL Cool J, was No. 6 with $7.1 million.
It was a strong weekend overall, with the top 12 movies grossing $103.1 million, up 22 percent from the same weekend last year, when “Collateral Damage,” “Big Fat Liar” and “Rollerball” debuted in the top three box-office spots.
“How to Lose a Guy” stars Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey in a romance of deception between a woman trying to get dumped in 10 days to research a magazine column and a man trying to win a bet that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. The movie generally was written off by reviewers as cutesy and contrived.
“In this case particularly I think they were way too hard on the movie,” said Rob Friedman, vice chairman of Paramount’s motion-picture group, which released the romantic comedy. “The public just loves this movie. Kate and Matthew are a tremendous winning combination.”
“How to Lose a Guy” should hold well with Valentine’s Day coming this weekend, when “guys definitely roll over for whatever a girl wants,” Friedman said. “I think we’ll have more guys seeing the movie this weekend than last.”
“Shanghai Knights,” Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson’s followup to their mini-hit “Shanghai Noon,” features the mismatched buddies on a mission in London to thwart villains trying to usurp the British and Chinese thrones.
Three years ago, “Shanghai Noon” took in $19.6 million over the four-day Memorial Day weekend, one of the busiest times at theaters. The sequel slightly exceeded that gross over a three-day weekend during Hollywood’s quiet winter season, a sign that the Chan-Wilson franchise picked up new fans through the video release of “Shanghai Noon.”
“Shanghai Knights” should end up surpassing the $57 million total gross of the original movie, said Chuck Viane, head of distribution at Disney, which released both flicks.
Here are the estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures will be released Monday.
1. “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” $24.1 million.
2. “Shanghai Knights,” $19.8 million.
3. “Chicago,” $10.7 million.
4. “The Recruit,” $9.5 million.
5. “Final Destination 2,” $8.7 million.
6. “Deliver Us From Eva,” $7.1 million.
7. “Kangaroo Jack,” $5.9 million.
8. “Biker Boyz,” $4 million.
9. “Darkness Falls,” $3.8 million.
10. “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” $3.4 million.