Monsters vs. Aliens frightened up a whopping $58.2 million this weekend, making it the top ticket at the box office. The movie, featuring the voice talents of Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen and Hugh Laurie, continued to raise Dreamworks’ status as an able competitor for powerhouse animators Pixar, joining the ranks of other Dreamworks hits like Kung Fu Panda and Shrek. Opening on 4,104 screens with a $14,181 per-screen average, Monsters vs. Aliens came just behind 300 and Ice Age: The Meltdown to be one of the biggest March openings ever.
Scaring away the rest of the competition was Peter Cornwell’s The Haunting in Connecticut. The supernatural horror flick did well for itself in second place with an impressive $23 million on 2,732 screens. Dropping 40 percent, last week’s top earner, Knowing, made out with $14.7 million in third place. And though it finished in fourth place this weekend, John Hamburg’s I Love You, Man had a better percentage drop at 29 percent for a $12.6 million take. Finishing off the top five was the Julia Roberts/Clive Owen vehicle Duplicity, which brought in an estimated $7.5 million, bringing its two-week total to $25.6 million.
The action thriller 12 Rounds, starring wrestler John Cena, debuted in seventh place with $5.3 million, while other new release, Goodbye Solo, raked in a nice $13,500 per-screen average at three theaters for $40,500. Coming in just shy of 10th place was the Amy Adams/Emily Blunt dark comedy Sunshine Cleaning, which expanded from 64 theaters to 167 for a $1.3 million take. The movie will open in 500 theaters on April 3rd.
Opening next week is the highly anticipated Fast and Furious, the fourth installment of the Furious series—this time with all of the original cast back behind the wheel. But it’ll be interesting to see if the “twihards” come out of the woodwork to give their girl Kristen Stewart (of the Twilight phenomenon) a boost for her new comedy Adventureland (also starring Jesse Eisenberg and SNLers Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader.) In limited release there’s also Gigantic with Paul Dano and Zooey Deschanel and from HBO Films there’s Sugar, with Algenis Perez Soto, directed by Half Nelson collaborators—and indie darlings—Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.