Twentieth Century Fox's decision to produce Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer in such a way that it would receive a PG rating apparently paid off in spades for the studio over the weekend. The film defied analysts' predictions of a $30-million opening and grossed nearly twice that amount -- an estimated $57.4 million -- to take the top spot at the box office. In an interview with today's (Monday) Los Angeles Times, Fox sales manager Chris Aronson, said, "We made a concerted effort to make this one PG to cast a wider umbrella and make it family-friendly." Meanwhile, last week's top film, Ocean's 13, ebbed 47 percent to take in just $19 million. In third place was Universal's R-rated Knocked Up with $14.1 million, bringing its gross to $90.5 million. It has now surged ahead of Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End, which placed fourth with $12 million. The only other new film at the box office this weekend, Warner Bros.' Nancy Drew, drew only $7 million.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Media by Numbers:
1. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, $57.4 million; 2. Ocean's Thirteen, $19.1 million; 3. Knocked Up, $14.5 million; 4. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, $12 million; 5. Surf's Up, $9.3 million; 6. Shrek the Third, $9 million; 7. Nancy Drew, $7.1 million; 8. Hostel: Part II, $3 million; 9. Mr. Brooks, $2.8 million; 10. SPIDER-MAN 3, $2.5 million.