For the first time in the three years since Oscar organizers expanded the best-picture category to more than five films, there’s not a single blockbuster in the running. The only contender this time that has made it to the $100 million mark domestically is the Deep South tale “The Help” at $169.7 million — big business for a drama with a heavily female audience.
The latest chapter in "The Chronicles of Narnia" saga has sailed to the top of the weekend box office, though the franchise sank to a weak debut compared to the first two movies. "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," the third in the franchise based on C.S. Lewis' fantasy novels, took in $24.5 million domestically, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Along with the voices of Brad Pitt, Tina Fey and Jonah Hill, the DreamWorks Animation release has Will Ferrell's title character hatching a scheme to fill the void in his life after he finally defeats his superhero nemesis.
"The Expendables," directed by and starring Sylvester Stallone with a crew of aging action stars, proved far and away the most popular movie in theaters as it sold a strong $35 million worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada, according to studio estimates.
“Inception” remained the No. 1 movie for the second-straight weekend with $43.5 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. The Warner Bros. thriller featuring DiCaprio as leader of a team that sneaks into people’s dreams raised its 10-day total to $143.7 million.
A remake of the slasher flick “A Nightmare on Elm Street” led the weekend with a $32.2 million debut. The movie features Jackie Earle Haley as Krueger, a psycho killer who stalks and slays victims in their dreams.
James Cameron’s “Avatar” continues to race up the box office charts, remaining No. 1 domestically for the fourth straight weekend with $48.5 million and placing second among all-time top-grossing films worldwide.
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