‘Gnomeo & Juliet’ Woos its Way to Top Spot at Weekend Box Office

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It’s good to be a gnome at the box office this weekend, with Gnomeo & Juliet hanging on to enough business to withstand a couple of weak challenges to land in the No. 1 spot.

The animated feature earned $14.2 million in ticket sales in its third weekend, good enough to earn the top spot in a weekend in which business was down 7 percent from the same frame last year. The film has so far grossed about $75 million domestic and $26 million international for a total of just over $100 million.

That was enough to beat out the new comedy release Hall Pass, which sold about $13.4 million in tickets. The only other major new release of the week was Drive Angry, which earned $5.1 million to finish ninth for the weekend.

The only other animated feature in release is The Illusionist, which was nominated for a Best Animated Feature Oscar. The film earned about $165,000 for the weekend at about 125 cinemas to bring its domestic box office tally to $1.7 million. The film has made $2.9 million overseas, for a global total of $4.6 million.

Animation fans have plenty to look forward to in coming weeks, with this Friday seeing the release of Rango, with the following week bringing Disney’s Mars Needs Moms and the live-action/animation hybrid Hop hitting April 1.