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Superman Returns top weekend film--$52 million

July 2 (Bloomberg) --

``Superman Returns,'' the latest incarnation of the superhero story, opened as the top movie in U.S. and Canadian theaters, taking in an estimated $52.2 million in ticket sales this weekend for distributor Warner Bros.

That figure brings the total five-day gross to $84.2 million since the film opened June 28, film tracker Exhibitor Relations Co. said in a statement today. The movie was expected to take in more than $100 million in its five-day debut, according to the average estimate of two analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

``Superman'' helped Hollywood to a seventh straight week of improved box-office revenue. Studios are trying to recover from a 6.7 percent decline in ticket sales last year, the biggest dip in two decades. Revenue is up 4.8 percent so far this year.

The Warner Bros. film stars Brandon Routh as Superman, Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane and Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor. The movie, directed by Bryan Singer, follows the tragic unheeded world crises that have unfolded after Superman mysteriously disappeared for five years. Coupled with Luthor's recent freedom from prison, Superman realizes he must return to Metropolis to fight evil.

``The Devil Wears Prada,'' based on the best-selling novel by Lauren Weisberger, opened in second place with $27 million. The film stars Anne Hathaway as a young woman just out of college trying to survive the demands of her boss, the editor of a glossy fashion magazine played by Meryl Streep.


The Adam Sandler comedy ``Click'' fell to third place with $19.4 million. In the Sony Pictures film, Sandler plays an overworked architect who is given a ``universal'' remote-control device that enables him to speed through unpleasant tasks. The blessing becomes a curse when the remote gets stuck on fast- forward. The film co-stars Kate Beckinsale and Christopher Walken.

Walt Disney Co.'s Pixar animated film ``Cars'' dropped to fourth from second with $14 million in ticket sales. ``Cars'' feature the voices of Paul Newman and Owen Wilson. Wilson plays an ambitious young race car driver who re-evaluates his goal of winning a championship after he's stranded in the desert town of Radiator Springs. The film has taken in $182.1 million since opening four weekends ago.

`Nacho Libre'

The Jack Black comedy ``Nacho Libre,'' from Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures, dropped to fifth place with $6.2 million. The movie stars Black as an orphanage cook who dreams of becoming a ``luchador,'' one of Mexico's masked professional wrestlers. He secretly joins the wrestling circuit, performing at night and returning to the kitchen by day.

The romantic drama ``The Lake House,'' starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, remained in sixth place with $4.5 million in sales.

``The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift'' fell to seventh with $4.4 million. Lucas Black plays an American drag racer who moves to Tokyo to avoid a jail sentence. Once there, he tries his hand at Japanese ``drift racing,'' which involves sudden turns on switchback roads.

Universal Pictures' ``Waist Deep'' slipped to eighth place with $3.3 million. ``Waist Deep'' stars Tyrese Gibson as an ex- convict who must break the law to rescue his son, who is kidnapped during a carjacking. Megan Good and hip-hop singer The Game, whose birth name is Jayceon Taylor, co-star.

``The Break-Up,'' produced by General Electric Co.'s Universal Pictures and starring Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn, dropped to ninth place from seventh with $2.8 million.

``The Da Vinci Code,'' starring Tom Hanks and based on the best-selling novel by Dan Brown, held the tenth spot with $2.3 million in sales, for $209.8 million in seven weeks of release.

Sales for the top 12 films rose 4.8 percent to an estimated $140.1 million from the year-earlier period, Encino, California- based Exhibitor Relations said.


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