V For Victorious

Warner Bros.’ vfx-laden, action-packed allegory, V for Vendetta, emerged triumphant at the North American box office over the weekend. Written and exec produced by The Matrix trilogy creators the Wachowski Brothers, the film took in an estimated $26 million to snatch the top spot from last week’s top debut, Paramount’s romantic comedy Failure to Launch.

V for Vendetta is directed by James McTeigue and based on a graphic novel written by Alan Moore and illustrated by David Lloyd. The film stars Natalie Portman as a young rebel fighting for freedom in an totalitarian London when she teams up with a masked terrorist who goes by the name of V (Hugo Weaving). The effects are provided by Double Negative under visual effects supervisor Richard Brisco.

Failure to Launch has begun its descent, slipping to No. 2 with around $15.8 million in its second week. Fueled by the appeal of stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey, the successful mission has generated nearly $50 million and should continue to draw a strong female audience in a frame dominated by movies for young males and kids.

Disney’s remake of The Shaggy Dog moves down to No. 3 with an additional $13.6 million, bringing its two-week take to more than $35 million. Meanwhile, DreamWorks’ Shakespeare-inspired, gender-bending tween comedy, She’s the Man, debuted in fourth place with around $11 million.

Rounding out this week’s top five performers is FoxSearchlight’s remake of the Wes Craven horror classic The Hills Have Eyes. The latest in a string of low-budget fright fests making tidy profits, the $15 million update has scared up more than $28 million since opening last week.

On the animation front, Universal’s big screen adaptation of children’s book favorite Curious George held onto the No. 11 spot in week 6 with an estimated $1.7 million. Made for around $50 million, the 2D toon has earned more than $55 million domestically so far and promises to be a kid favorite on home video. The monkey movie will get some competition for family audiences this weekend when Fox Animation/Blue Sky’s Ice Age 2: The Meltdown opens nationwide.