TROPIC THUNDER, despite some lingering controversy, powered its way to the top of the box office heap for the weekend ending August 17, earning $25.81 million (actuals) for Paramount/DreamWorks (vfx by CIS Vancouver, CIS Hollywood and CIS London, Hammerhead Productions, Custom Film Effects and Proof).
Warner Bros.' THE DARK KNIGHT finally dropped to number two with $16.38M and $471.08M in five weeks, making it the second-highest grossing film ever, surpassing STAR WARS: EPISODE IV -- A NEW HOPE and just below TITANIC (which grossed more than $600M).
The film's vfx were by Double Negative, BUF, Gentle Giant Studios and New Deal Studios.
Also from Warner Bros., animated entry STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS opened in third place with $14.61M.
Fox's horror flick MIRRORS opened in fourth place with $11.16M. The film's vfx were by & Company, Agog Special Effects, Event Horizon, K.N.B. Effects Group, LOOK! Effects and Rez-Illusion.
Dropping to the number five slot was Sony's PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, which earned $9.81M and $62.74M in two weeks.
THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR (Universal, vfx by Digital Domain, Gentle Giant Studios, Giant Studios, CIS Hollywood, CIS London, Rhythm and Hues and Special Effects Atlantic) earned another $8.21M for sixth place and a $86.25M cume over three weeks.
Universal's ABBA musical MAMMA MIA! (vfx by Framestore) came in seventh place with $6.096M and a gross of $116.01M in five weeks.
THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS 2 (Warner Bros., vfx by Rocket Science VFX) dropped to eighth place in its second week out with $5.79M and just more than a $32M gross.
Ninth place went to comedy STEP BROTHERS with $4.81M (Sony), earning $90.696M in four weeks in release.
Woody Allen's VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA (MGM/Weinstein, vfx by Big Film Design) opened in fewer than 700 theaters but still pulled in $3.756M for tenth place.
Animated entry FLY ME TO THE MOON 3-D (Summit Ent.) opened in 12th place with $1.9M. Disney-Pixar's WALL-E came in 13th place with $1.84M and a gross of $214.13M in eight weeks. SPACE CHIMPS (Fox) placed 17th with $775,152 and $27.57M in five weeks. KUNG FU PANDA (DreamWorks) earned another $283,677for an 11-week gross of $211.934M.
Box office information from BoxOfficeMojo.com.