The hyperviolent superheroes in Lionsgate's action comedy Kick-Ass had their behinds whacked by the friendly dragons and Scottish-accented Vikings in Paramount/Dreamworks's How to Train Your Dragon over the weekend. Or at least, so it seemed on Sunday morning as the studios issued their weekend estimates. Paramount said that Dragon soared to the top again in its fourth week with $20 million, while Lionsgate estimated that Kick-Ass earned $19.8 million. The tight finish appeared to set up the possibility of a repeat of last week when the top two films reversed their positions when final results were announced on Monday. In any case, the result would appear to come as a relief to DreamWorks after Dragon opened at the low end of analysts' estimates last month. Solid word-of-mouth, little or no competition from other family films, and access to the largest number of 3D screens -- including virtually all of those in commercial IMAX venues -- have given it an advantage over the competition. Its current total now stands at $158.6 million, and it seems certain that it will cross the $200-million mark by the end of its run. On the other hand, Kick-Ass, which some critics described as a satire of director Quentin Tarantino's cool mayhem, failed to live up to its name -- or analysts' predictions of a weekend take of $25-30 million. Adding to the disappointment is the fact that Lionsgate included Thursday-night previews at 10 00 p.m. in its estimate. Like last week, there was also a tight race for third place at the box office, with the second week of Date Night holding The Edge in early estimates with $17.3 million over the debut of Death at a Funeral with $17 million.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo 1. How to Train Your Dragon, $20 million; 2. Kick-Ass , $19.75 million; 3. Date Night, $17.3 million; 4. Death at a Funeral , $17 million; 5. Clash of the Titans , $15.8 million; 6. The Last Song, $5.8 million; 7. Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? , $4.2 million; 8. Hot Tub Time Machine , $3.55 million; 9. Alice in Wonderland , $3.54 million; 10. The Bounty Hunter , $3.2 million.