UPDATE: *I’m told Jack Black went slack on Saturday giving Disney/Pixar’s Cars the heavily hyped title of No. 1 movie in U.S. theaters with $31 million its second weekend out. The expert predictions turned out to be right because attendance for both Paramount’s Nacho Libre (-14%) and Universal’s The Fast and The Furious 3 (-18%) were down Saturday from Friday. This meant a lot of the heat with one segment of the audience (young males for both) that succeeded in opening the two films on Friday failed to expand into other segments like adults or dates on Saturday. According to Paramount, that made Nacho only No. 2 with $27.5 mil and Fast #3 with $24.0 mil with Warner Bros.’ The Lake House lagging far behind in a distant 4th with $13.6 mil — so Sandra Bullock’s cold streak with American movie audiences continues… On the other hand, Paramount is pretty darn pleased with Nacho‘s opening considering the movie’s negative cost is only $35 mil. The only other newcomer, Fox’s Garfield 2 lagged both The Break-Up and Fox’s X-Men 3 in 7th place. Despite placing first position two weeks in a row, Disney can’t be that happy since Cars is underperforming previous big Pixar movies. Disney’s stock price took a dive last week, then rebounded, because of the weak Cars debut, prompting Wall Street to suspect that Disney overpaid for Pixar. Overall, it was another big box office weekend, up 6% vs last year, thanks to 4 movies opening simultaneously.*

TomHanks1.jpg*Meanwhile, Sony’s Da Vinci Code should hit $200 million for U.S. box office this week after adding $5 million for a domestic total of $198.5 mil. Despite World Cup action overseas, the religious thriller continued as the No. 1 international movie even after five weeks out. DVC did an additional $15.2 mil bringing its overseas total to $480 mil (making it the 13th best-performing film foreign b.o.-wise) and $678.5 mil total worldwide (making it the 23rd all-timer). Da Vinci Code is now Tom Hanks’ biggest box office film, passing the previous record-setter Forrest Gump.*

Young and old looking for yucks continue to make Jack Black (aka, The New Belushi) one of today’s few stars who can reliably open a movie as I’m told Paramount’s Nacho Libre racked up $10.1 million for No. 1 at U.S. theaters Friday. ($10.1 mil is Paramount’s own figure, though some rival studios had $10.8 mil and Box Office Mojo used $11 mil.) It’s looking good for the quirky wrestling comedy that got decent reviews to blast through those tracking predictions of a mid-twenties debut weekend and top $30 mil even with four movies opening at the same time at the box office. Disney/Pixar’s Cars may still win the weekend, which is what the experts predicted, but I say if so not by much. Both Nacho and Universal’s The Fast And The Furious 3 ($9.3 million for Friday) beat the ‘toon’s $9.1 million last night. Cars was down 54% and is underperforming previous Disney/Pixar ‘toons but should have a big enough bump today to finish in the low 30s. Warner Bros.’s The Lake House was a distant fourth at $5.0 mil. Overall, I’ve learned it was another big weekend at the box office, up over 10% vs last year but the four openings knocked every holdover down 50%. Meanwhile, international’s No. 1 movie, Sony’s Da Vinci Code, registered smaller-than-expected b.o. drops Friday because of World Cup action. But its best territory, Italy, is playing the U.S. today.

More as it comes in…

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