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'Jack the Giant Slayer' wins box office with puny take

Warner Bros. Pictures

Ewan McGregor stars as Elmont in "Jack the Giant Slayer."

The blockbuster-budgeted "Jack the Giant Slayer" opened to a relatively puny $28 million, per Friday-Sunday studio domestic estimates.

Meanwhile, the dudes-doing-stupid-stuff comedy "21 and Over" was no "Project X" and certainly no  "Hangover," grossing an underwhelming $9 million and getting trumped in the standings by the month-old "Identity Thief." 

And those two performance weren't the worst of it: The submarine thriller "Phantom," starring Ed Harris and David Duchovny, posted a historically bad, "Oogieloves"-sized debut. 

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Overall, it was another lousy weekend for Hollywood, which has struggled this year to sell tickets to movies not starring Melissa McCarthy or nominated for best picture.

The $150 million to $200 million "Jack,"  which had been hyped as 2013's potentially " first big-budget bomb," lived up, or rather down, to the hype.

Its Friday opening day consisted of just $7.7 million in ticket sales. And while the film perked up on Saturday, to $12.1 million, and was graded a solid B-plus by audiences surveyed by CinemaScore, its three-day total was far more "Battleship," to name one 2012 flop, than "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax," which scored more than $70 million on the same weekend last year.

"21 and Over" likewise failed to match its predecessor, the party-hearty "Project X," which came up with $21.1 million in its early March debut last year. Still, the comedy from the writers of "The Hangover" did OK when compared to its budget, which was only $13 million.

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And then there was the reputedly $18 million "Phantom," which opened on some 1,100 screens, and came away with only $465,000, Exhibitor Relations reported.

So, no, it didn't make the Top 10.

It did, however, figure into the rankings elsewhere.

According to the stats at BoxOfficeMojo.com, "Phantom's" debut will go down as the 15th-worst ever for a film on at least 600 screens. (The infamous "Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure" comes in at 12th place on that rundown.)

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Elsewhere, the new horror sequel "The Last Exorcism Part II" opened to a nothing-much $8 million.

"Identity Thief," meanwhile, became 2013's first $100 million domestic hit, crossing the nine-figure mark on Friday.

Oscar stars "Argo" and "Life of Pi" both enjoyed Oscar bounces, upping their domestic takes to $132.8 million and $116.9 million, respectively. 

In limited release, the Nicole Kidman-led thriller "Stoker" averaged a great $22,500 at seven theaters for a three-day domestic debut of $158,000.

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Here's a complete look at the weekend's top movies, per Friday-Sunday studio estimates and stats as compiled by Exhibitor Relations.

  1. "Jack the Giant Slayer," $28 million
  2. "Identity Thief," $9.7 million
  3. "21 and Over," $9 million
  4. "The Last Exorcism Part II," $8 million
  5. "Snitch," $7.7 million
  6. "Escape From Planet Earth,"  $6.7 million
  7. "Safe Haven," $6.3 million
  8. "Silver Linings Playbook," $5.9 million
  9. "A Good Day to Die Hard," $4.5 million
  10. "Dark Skies," $3.6 million 

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