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HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY #1 at the Box Office

Ron Perlman in Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Brendan Fraser in Journey to the Center of the Earth

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (above, top photo) topped the North American box office this weekend with US$35.8 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Guillermo del Toro’s sci-fi-cum-action thriller delivered a better performance than its predecessor, Hellboy, which took home only $23.1 million on its opening weekend in 2004. In this sequel, Hellboy (Ron Perlman) must stop a ruthless prince from waging war on humankind.

Will Smith in HancockLast week’s box office champ, Hancock (right), dropped to No. 2, earning $33 million and bringing its total domestic gross to $165 million after only two weeks in release. Directed by Peter Berg, the film stars Will Smith as a drunken superhero who agrees to rebuild his battered image.

Debuting in third place with $20.5 million was Eric Brevig’s 3-D adventure tale Journey to the Center of the Earth (above, lower photo). Starring Brendan Fraser and Josh Hutcherson, the movie follows a scientist and his nephew as they discover a secret world near the Earth’s core.

Meanwhile, Pixar’s WALL-E slipped to No. 4, pulling $18.5 million from ticket sales at 3,849 locations. Andrew Stanton’s computer-animated tale of a robot who falls for a probe droid lifted its cumulative gross to $162.7 million after only three weeks in release.

At No. 5, Timur Bekmambetov’s action hit Wanted took home $11.5 million, reaching a total haul of $112 million after a strong three-week run. Starring James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie, the film revolves around a nobody whose life takes a drastic turn after he joins a fraternity of assassins.

Peter Segal’s spy comedy Get Smart fell to sixth place, bringing in $7.1 million after reaching a domestic total of $111.4 million after four weeks in release. Distributed by Warner Bros., the film stars Steve Carell as a clumsy secret agent struggling to save the world.

Eddie Murphy in Meet Dave

New entry Meet Dave (above) opened in seventh place with a skimpy $5.3 million from ticket sales at 3,011 locations. Directed by Brian Robbins and released by 20th Century-Fox, the comedy stars Eddie Murphy as a humanoid alien who travels to Earth to seek a way to save his own planet.

Following closely at No. 8 was DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda, which earned $4.3 million and brought its cumulative gross to $202 million after six weeks in release. Directed by Mark Osborne and John Stevenson, Kung Fu Panda follows a lazy panda (voiced by Jack Black) on his quest to learn the basics of kung fu.

Two films rounded out the top 10: Picturehouse’s drama Kit Kittredge: An American Girl at No. 9, with $2.3 million, and Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull at No. 10, with $2.2 million.

Source: Box Office Mojo (www.boxofficemojo.com)

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