SUNDAY AM: It wasn’t even a fair fight between computer-generated imagery on the big screen. On Friday, 100% CGI-created Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles easily knocked those 300 CGI-helped hardbodies off their No. 1 pedestal. So who benefits the most? Warner Bros., which has bragging rights to both hit pics. Turtles fought their way to a $24.5 million weekend from 3,110 theaters, compared to 300‘s $20.7 mil weekend from 3,280 venues. At issue was just how much nostalgia there would be among teens who grew up with TMNT the first time around. But the Turtles‘ fourth feature is grittier than the previous live-action films, and that worked for PG audiences. (TMNT is produced by Imagi Animation Studios and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and The Weinstein Company — the latter two bought the rights from New Line.) The blockbuster 300 dropped only 38% starting its 3rd week out for a hot new cume of $162.5 mil. This R-rated gorefest has exploded into a cultural phenomenon judging from all the smart parodies now available on YouTube. Mark Wahlberg’s so-so reviewed thriller Shooter from Paramount opened in 3rd place, making $14.5 mil for Friday-Saturday-Sunday from 2,806 playdates. Disney’s Wild Hogs continues its long motorcycle ride in 4th, with a $14.1 mil weekend from 3,401 theaters and a hefty new cume of $123.6 mil. shooter_posterbig.jpgThe Top 10 at the movies this weekend were filled with new product. Holdover Premonition, a Sandra Bullock thriller from Sony, climbed to 5th place (only a drop of -42%) with $10.1 mil for the weekend from 2,831 theaters. Its new cume is $32.1 mil. Fox Atomic’s horror film sequel The Hills Have Eyes 2 debuted #5 Friday but dropped to #6 in final weekend numbers of $9.8 mil from 2,447 venues. Hollywood was especially curious to see how New Line’s newcomer The Last Mimzy fared this weekend because the kiddie pic was directed by the studio’s chairman Bob Shaye. New Line spent a fortune marketing it as a result (complete with toy-bribed sneaks) but Mimzy only mustered 7th place and a $9.6 mil weekend from 3,017 venues despite the usual Saturday matinee bounce. Sony’s 9/11 drama Reign Over Me was intended all along as an opportunity for Adam Sandler to show his acting chops since he makes so much $$$ for that studio in his comedies. So it didn’t matter that the pic finished 8th after an $8 mil weekend in 1,671 theaters. Lionsgate’s PG African-American targeted sports pic Pride placed 9th, with a $3.7 mil Fri-Sat-Sun weekend in 1,518 playdates. Finishing the Top 10: Lionsgate’s horrorific Dead Silence dropped 56%, making only 3.5 mil from 1,806 venues this weekend for a new cume of $13.2 mil. Meanwhile, Chris Rock’s bomb at the box office I Think I Love My Wife (Fox Searchlight) dropped out of the Top 10 altogether its second week out.

  1. 1. TMNT did $8.6 mil Fri, $9.3 mil Sat and an est $6.5 mil Sun.
  2. 2. 300 earned $6 mil Fri, $8.3 mil Sat and an est $6.3 Sun.
  3. 3. Shooter made $4.8 mil Fri, $5.8 mil Sat and an est $3.8 mil Sun.
  4. 4. Wild Hogs earned $4 mil Fri, $6.4 mil Sat and an est $3.7 mil Sun.
  5. 5. Premonition took in $5.2 mil Fri, $4.2 mil Sat and an est $2.6 mil Sun.
  6. 6. The Hills Have Eyes 2 made $3.8 mil Fri, $3.5 mil Sat and an est $2.6 mil Sun.
  7. 7. The Last Mimzy did $2.7 mil Fri, $4 mil Sat and an est $2.8 mil Sun.
  8. 8. Reign Over Me earned $2.5 mil Fri, $3.1 mil Sat and an est $2.3 mil Sun.
  9. 9. Pride made $1.2 mil Fri, $1.5 mil Sat and an est $925K Sun.
  10. 10. Dead Silence did $1.1 mil Fri, $1.4 mil Sat and an est $900 Sun.

FRIDAY PM: Warner’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles biz is “looking good” in today’s matinees and could make upwards of $20 mil this weekend, I’m told. So it might, just might, beat those 300 hardbodies from the very same studio. That’s where the battle for #1 stands right now. (It hinges on just how much nostalgia there is among teens who grew up with TMNT the first time around.) “There’s also a fight for #3 between Fox Atomic’s disgusting horror flick The Hills Have Eyes 2 and Paramount’s so-so reviewed Shooter starring Mark Wahlberg. Sony’s Reign Over Me, starring Adam Sandler in a dramatic turn, might make around $10 mil. (Yikes, did Adam have a hot week marketing that small pic or what? Subbing for Letterman? Getting a standing O? Serious face time on Charlie Rose?), and New Line’s The Last Mimzy under $10 mil. (Remember, that’s the pic directed by New Line chairman Bob Shaye which was tracking a big fat zero before the sneaks — where toys were handed out.) But both movies will be competing for dollars with holdovers Wild Hogs (Disney) and Premonition (Sony) for Top 10 placement in theaters this weekend.