Horror flick just won’t die at box office

Movie audiences are continuing to visit The Final Destination as the fright flick took in $15.4 million over the four-day Labour Day weekend to remain the No. 1 box-office draw, according to studio estimates Monday.

LOS ANGELES — Movie audiences are continuing to visit The Final Destination as the fright flick took in $15.4 million over the four-day Labour Day weekend to remain the No. 1 box-office draw, according to studio estimates Monday.

Released by Warner Bros., The Final Destination raised its 11-day total to $50.6 million.

Quentin Tarantino’s Second World War epic Inglourious Basterds ran a close second with $15 million from Friday to Monday. The Weinstein Co. tale lifted its total to $95.2 million in its third weekend.

Debuting at No. 3 with $13.9 million was 20th Century Fox’s romantic comedy All About Steve, starring Sandra Bullock on a cross-country trek pursuing the man of her dreams.

Among the weekend’s other new releases was Lionsgate’s thriller Gamer, which pulled in $11.2 million to finish at No. 4. Gamer stars Gerard Butler in a tale about real humans controlled by players in deadly games.

Opening at No. 10 with $5.3 million was Miramax’s comedy Extract, starring Jason Bateman as a businessman whose personal life heats up just as he’s trying to sell his flavour-extract company to General Mills.

The Labour Day weekend is traditionally a slow one at theatres, with audiences preoccupied by outdoor activities and a new school year.

But with Hollywood fresh off a summer revenue record of $4.25 billion, theatres did solid business over the holiday, with receipts for the top-12 movies at $102.6 million, up 10.5 per cent from Labour Day weekend last year, according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com.

“It’s been a huge summer,” said Bert Livingston, 20th Century Fox distribution executive. “Especially when the economy has been the way it is, our business is thriving, because people want to escape and go and lose themselves for a couple of hours.”

For the year, Hollywood revenues are running at a record pace of $7.4 billion, 7.8 per cent ahead of 2008 ticket sales. Factoring in higher ticket prices, admissions for 2009 are up 4 per cent compared to last year’s, according to Hollywood.com.

“We couldn’t be in a better position heading into the fall,” said Paul Dergarabedian, Hollywood.com box-office analyst. “We’ve got momentum with us.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Monday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Hollywood.com. Final figures will be released Tuesday.

1. “The Final Destination,” $15.4 million.

2. “Inglourious Basterds,” $15 million.

3. “All About Steve,” $13.9 million.

4. “Gamer,” $11.2 million.

5. “District 9,” $9 million.

6. “Halloween II,” $7.1 million.

7. “Julie&Julia,” $7 million.

8. “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” $6.7 million.

9. “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” $5.5 million.

10. “Extract,” $5.3 million.

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On the Net:

http://www.hollywood.com/boxoffice

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Universal Pictures and Focus Features are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of General Electric Co.; Sony Pictures, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount and Paramount Vantage are divisions of Viacom Inc.; Disney’s parent is The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is a division of The Walt Disney Co.; 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox Atomic are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a consortium of Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group, Sony Corp., Comcast Corp., DLJ Merchant Banking Partners and Quadrangle Group; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC Films is owned by Rainbow Media Holdings, a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corp.; Rogue Pictures is owned by Relativity Media LLC; Overture Films is a subsidiary of Liberty Media Corp.

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