With a release onto some 4,400 screens across the nation, Hellboy II: The Golden Army grossed an estimated $35.9 million over the weekend, making...

With a release onto some 4,400 screens across the nation, Hellboy II: The Golden Army grossed an estimated $35.9 million over the weekend, making a strong opener for distributor Universal Pictures. Universal picked up the rights for the sequel to the 2004 Sony film Hellboy, which had stumbled at the box office but then drew a strong following on its DVD sales. The sci-fi fantasy stars Ron Perlman as a spawn of Satan who decides to join the other team, using his superhero powers to save the world from total destruction.

The Will Smith vehicle Hancock ran a close second, hauling in $33 million in its second weekend at 3,965 theaters. The weekend’s second premiering film, Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D, took third place with $20.6 million. The retelling of the Jules Verne 1864 classic sci-fi sage starring Brendan Fraser opened in 2,811 theaters. About $11.7 million or 57 percent of that weekend gross came from Real D’s 3D presentations at 854 locations. Distributor Warner Bros. marketed the picture like a theme park attraction and reported that families comprised 60 percent of the audience.

The third major premier, Eddie Murphy’s Meet Dave, won an unsettling seventh place with its score of a mere $5.3 million on 3,300 screens. The space alien comedy is about a massive fireball from space that hits New York’s Central Park and an ordinary man who emerges unscathed. The man turns out to be a spaceship operated by 100 human-looking aliens who are one-quarter inch tall and seeking a way to save their planet; complications ensue when their captain falls in love with an Earth woman who’s always picked losers for previous romances.

Wall-E, in its third weekend, brought in an estimated $18.5 million for a $162.8 million total gross. Wanted took the Number Five slot with an estimated $11.6 million, scoring some $111.5 million in 17 days. Kung Fu Panda became the first non-Shrek feature from DreamWorks Animation to cross the $200 million mark.

Ticket sales were down 17% from the same weekend last year, when Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix stormed theaters.

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Box Office Grosses
Week Ending July 11, 2008

Rank Title Weekend Total Gross
1 Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) $35.9M $35.9M
2 Hancock (2008) $33M $165M
3 Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) $20.6M $20.6M
4 WALL•E (2008) $18.5M $163M
5 Wanted (2008) $11.6M $112M
6 Get Smart (2008) $7.11M $111M
7 Meet Dave (2008) $5.3M $5.3M
8 Kung Fu Panda (2008) $4.3M $202M
9 Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (2008) $2.36M $11M
10 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) $2.25M $310M