'Chihuahua' Top Dog Once Again

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 13, 2008 | Go to article overview

'Chihuahua' Top Dog Once Again


Byline: Associated Press

LOS ANGELES An adorable talking dog remained just the sort of escapist movie hero audiences wanted after a week of awful economic news.

Disneys family comedy "Beverly Hills Chihuahua," with Drew Barrymore providing the voice of the pooch, was the No. 1 flick for the second-straight weekend with $17.5 million, raising its 10-day total to $52.5 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

"Beverly Hills Chihuahua" is the only light comedy in a market heavy on drama. Chuck Viane, Disneys head of distribution, said moviegoers may be turning to the perky pooch to help forget the market free-fall on Wall Street.

"This is only word-of-mouth coming back to us from theaters. I dont have any statistical proof. But theyre telling us were getting more unaccompanied-by-children adults coming on their own. Theyre looking for a little entertainment," Viane said. "The axiom weve always lived by is, funny is money. People come out for comedy. "

The weekends No. 2 flick the fright film "Quarantine," which debuted with $14.2 million filled the escapism needs for the horror crowd. The Sony Screen Gems release centers on a contagion that turns an apartment buildings tenants into flesh-hungry monsters.

"Its probably the perfect kind of movie for todays climate," said Rory Bruer, Sony head of distribution. "Lets just get away from the news, from all thats going on, and go someplace else, and this is something thatll take you someplace else."

The marquee trio of Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe and director Ridley Scott had to settle for third-place with their terrorism thriller "Body

of Lies," which had a $13.1 million debut.

The Warner Bros. film centers on a CIA operative hunting the terrorist responsible for bombings around the world.

"Body of Lies" may have dealt with too sober a topic after all the disastrous financial news, said Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros.

"I think we ran into really difficult timing. The nation suffered such an economic loss this week that the mood of our audience was such that they were probably looking for a little more escapism than to see a movie on terrorism," Fellman said.

The weekends other new wide releases, Universals football drama "The Express" and 20th Century Foxs family fantasy "City of Ember," opened weakly.

"The Express" starring Rob Brown and Dennis Quaid in the story of Ernie Davis, the first black player to win the Heisman Trophy came in at No. …

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