'40-Year-Old Virgin' Retains No. 1 Spot..Brothers Grim Opens Strong
LOS ANGELES - Steve Carell's second time at the top of the box office was almost as good as the first. "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," starring Carell as a middle-aged man who has never had sex, remained the No. 1 movie with $16.4 million, a strong hold from its opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Terry Gilliam's "The Brothers Grimm," a fantasy starring Matt Damon and Heath Ledger as the 19th century fairy-tale siblings, debuted in second place with $15.1 million.
"The Cave," an underground monster movie featuring Morris Chestnut, Piper Perabo and Cole Hauser, opened weakly at No. 6 with $6.2 million.
The weekend's other new wide release — the romance "Undiscovered," featuring Ashlee Simpson and Pell James as gal pals who fabricate media buzz to help a friend's music career — flopped with just $690,000, finishing far out of the top 10.
A movie slump continued, with the top-12 films taking in $82.8 million, down 2.5 percent from the same weekend last year.
Hollywood is having its worst year since the late 1990s, with summer attendance expected to come in 12 percent behind last year, according to box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations.
There have been bright spots amid the slump, notably the racy R-rated comedies "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Wedding Crashers," which are holding well on the strength of good reviews and word of mouth.
"Wedding Crashers," starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn as buddies who intrude on strangers' nuptials to pick up women, remained the No. 5 film with $6.25 million, lifting its seven-week total to $187.7 million.
The release of "The Brothers Grimm" was delayed for a year as Gilliam feuded over the final version with brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein, the heads of Miramax Films, whose Dimension banner released the movie.
"The Brothers Grimm" is among a rush of long-delayed Miramax movies now being released as the Weinsteins prepare to depart Disney-owned Miramax for a new film company they have formed.
For Gilliam ("The Fisher King," "Twelve Monkeys"), it was his first film since 1998's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." "Brothers Grimm" got mixed reviews at best, though.
"It's a respectable opening," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations. "You can't underestimate the following that Terry Gilliam has."
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures will be released Monday.