Chicken Scratches Out Another Win

Despite the debut of some high-profile releases, Disney’s animated Chicken Little held the top spot at the North American box office over the weekend, pecking out an estimated $32 million. Another stellar weekend for the CG comedy left Sony’s Zathura: A Space Adventure, The Weinstein Co.’s Derailed and Paramount’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ to fight it out for the scraps.

Chicken Little has already made north of $80 million and shows little sign of stopping. With its stereoscopic 3-D component wowing audiences in select theaters, the pic managed to retain the bulk of its audience in week two, sliding only 20%. Next week should also prove fruitful for the folks at Disney as kids get out of school for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Though Zathrua has been receiving better notices from critics, the unofficial Jumanji sequel fromdirector Jon Favreau (Elf) took far fewer moviegoers on its maiden journey into the depths of space. The $65 million sci-fi flick based on a children’s book by book by Chris Van Allsburg (The Polar Express, Jumanji) launched in second place with an estimated $14 million. The film features a combination of digital and old-school practical visual effects by Sony Pictures Imageworks and Stan Winston Studios, which you can read about in the December issue of Animation Magazine.

The Jennifer Aniston/Clive Owen suspense thriller Derailed pulled into the No. 3 spot with around $12.8 million, a respectable bow for a $22 million production. The film is the first theatrical release from Bob and Harvey Weinstein’s new Weinstein Co., which will release its first animate feature, Hoodwinked!, in some 1,800 theaters across North America on Dec. 23.

Get Rich or Die Tryin’, which stars rapper 50 Cent in an autobiographical look at his rise from thug life to international stardom, took in around $12.5 million. The $40 million pic has earned in an estimated $18 million since opening on Wednesday, but the No. 4 debut is a far cry form the chart-topping feature film debut of 50 Cent’s mentor, Eminem, who told his story with 8 Mile. Rounding out the top five is Universal’s Gulf War pic, Jarhead, which took a steep slide from the No. 2 spot in its second week.