‘Rango’ Wins Weekend Box Office Race by a Wide Margin

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Animation brought a little bit of life back to the box office this weekend, as Rango rode to first place among the weekend’s releases.

Rango grossed an estimated $38 million. That’s slightly short of last March’s animated release, How to Train Your Dragon, which took in about $43 million in its first weekend. Rango, however, had higher attendance as it is not released in stereoscopic 3D and therefore not collecting the ticket surcharges that benefit 3D films.

Rango almost doubled the weekend gross for the No. 2 movie, The Adjustment Bureau. The Matt Damon starring-film, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, took in $20.1 million. Among other new releases, Beastly came in third with $10.1 million and the 1980s comedy Take Me Home Tonight opened in 11th place with an estimated  $3.5 million.

The animated feature Gnomeo & Juliet — which is in stereoscopic 3D — landed in fifth place with $6.9 million in its fourth weekend of release. The film has grossed $83.7 million domestic, and $36.7 million overseas for a to-date total of $120.4 million.

Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist is the only other animated feature in release, grossing about $78,000 for the weekend. The film, which was one of this year’s three Oscar nominees, has earned $1.8 million domestic and $2.9 million overseas for a $4.8 million worldwide total.

Rango will get some competition next weekend from Mars Needs Moms, a stereo 3D mo-cap and CG-animated feature from Robert Zemeckis’ Image Movers and distributed by Disney.