Teen heart throb Zac Efron’s “17 Again” earned $24.1 this weekend, landing the top slot on the movie box office dance card, according to studio estimates from box office tracking firm Nielsen EDI.

Efron, star of “Hairspray” and Disney’s “High School Musical” franchise, is back to school again in this comedy, which offers a wish fulfillment story line of a 37-year old man who wishes he could go back to his glory days on the high school basketball team – and he does.

The Russell Crowe political thriller “State of Play” opened to $14.1 million and second place. This remake of the 2003 British mini-series looks at the problems facing newspapers today, highlighting the sensationalizing of news over coverage of more serious fare.

The animated comedy “Monsters vs. Aliens” continued its strong run, taking the third spot after a month in theaters with $12.9 million. “Hannah Montana: The Movie” dropped from its No. 1 debut to claim fourth place with $12.7 million. The film has done $56.1 million in 10 days. The car racing film “Fast & Furious” was fifth with $12.3 million, bringing its three-week total to $137 million.

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Ticket sales continued to be on the rise, surging 21 percent over the same weekend last year. Final figures are due Monday.

Box Office Grosses
Week Ending April 19, 2009

Rank Title Weekend Total Gross
1 17 Again (2009) $24.1M $24.1M
2 State of Play (2009) $14.1M $14.1M
3 Monsters vs Aliens (2009) $12.9M $163M
4 Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009) $12.7M $56.1M
5 Fast & Furious (2009) $12.3M $137M
6 Crank: High Voltage (2009) $6.51M $6.51M
7 Observe and Report (2009) $4.05M $18.7M
8 Knowing (2009) $3.48M $73.7M
9 I Love You, Man (2009) $3.37M $64.7M
10 The Haunting in Connecticut (2009) $3.15M $51.9M