I, Robot Wired for Success

Moviegoer popcorn greased the gears of I, Robot over the weekend, propelling 20th Century Fox’s sci-fi thriller to the top spot at the North American box office. According to studio estimates, the Will Smith vehicle took in a whopping $52 million dollars to knock the flagging Spider-Man 2 down a peg.

Loosely based on the classic sci-fi short story collection by Isaac Asimov, I, Robot has police detective Del Spooner (Smith) investigating a murder that may have been committed by one of the many highly evolved androids designed to serve mankind in the year 2035. Alex Proyas (The Crow, Dark City) directed the film, which features a ton of CG work by Digital Domain, Weta Digital, Rainmaker Digital and Pixel Magic. Read about I, Robot‘s visual effects in the July issue of Animation Magazine.

Sony’s Spider-Man 2 posted a distant second with an estimated $24.2 million in its third week. The superhero pic’s early momentum has driven it past the $300 Million mark, but trail-off is causing it to perform slightly under DreamWork’s animated Shrek 2, which apparently enjoyed more repeat business and seems to be staving off Spidey’s bid for the title of top-grossing film of the year. Shrek 2 has raked in around $425 million to date and has finally dropped out of the top ten after nine weeks in release. The fairy tale spoof earned an estimated $3 million over the weekend to finish in 11th place.

Another fairy tale debuted in third place for the weekend. Warner Bros.’ Hillary Duff vehicle, A Cinderella Story, took in around $13.8 million, just slightly more than DreamWorks’ Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, which took a steep 52% dive in its second week to fall form No. 2 to No. 4. Rounding out the top five is Lions Gate’s Fahrenheit 9/11, which picked up another $7 million dollars as it approaches the $100 million mark.