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Monsters vs. Aliens Battle for Big Box Office Business

The largest 3-D film ever released, the animated MONSTERS VS. ALIENS (Paramount/DreamWorks Animation) is a success at the box office, bringing in $59.3 million in its debut. The film grossed approximately $32.6 million on the 2,080 3-D screens (including IMAX), which represents only 28 percent of the film's runs and accounts for 56 percent of the total weekend gross.

It was the biggest weekend debut of 2009, the best opening for a 3-D film and the biggest spring opening for a non-sequel animated film.

The film also broke numerous box office records in IMAX theatres during its opening weekend. The film generated $5.1 million on 143 IMAX screens domestically for a per screen average of $35,682 from Friday, March 27, through Sunday March 29, marking the highest-grossing IMAX 3-D opening yet. The domestic IMAX opening contributed nearly 9% of the film's overall box office gross on less than 2% of its total screens.

The IMAX release also had very strong openings internationally, setting new records in Russia, Ukraine and the Philippines, with all locations reporting sold out shows throughout the weekend. The film is scheduled to open day and date on 51 more international IMAX screens in the days and weeks to follow.

Horror opener THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT from Lionsgate debuted in the number two spot with $23M. Dropping from the top spot last week, Summit Ent.'s KNOWING (vfx from Animal Logic, BUF and Postmodern) came in third with $14.7M and a two-week cume of $46.2M.

Laffer I LOVE YOU, MAN (Paramount/DreamWorks) chuckled its way to fourth place (down from the two spot last week) with $12.7M and $37M in two weeks. Julia Roberts' and Clive Owens' romantic actioner DUPLICITY (Universal) also fell two spots to fifth with $7.7M and a two-week take of $25.8M.

In its third week in release, Disney's RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN (visual effects by Furious FX, Proof and RotoFactory) came in sixth place with $5.8M and in three weeks has earned $53.5M. Fox's action opener with John Cena, 12 ROUNDS, came in seventh with $5.3M.

WATCHMEN (Warner Bros.) continued its fast decline, placing eighth with $2.7M, but crossed the $100M mark and now stands at $103.3M. The comic adaptation has vfx from CIS Hollywood, Drac Studios, Gentle Giant Studios, Intelligent Creatures, Lidar Services, Moving Picture Company, Proof, Quantum Creation FX, Rising Sun Pictures, Sony Pictures Imageworks and Svengali Visual Effects. Fox's TAKEN thriller came in ninth place with $2.7M and a healthy $137.1M cume in nine weeks.

And rounding out the top ten, last week's sixth place finisher, THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (Universal, vfx by Rez-Illusion), made $2.6M and in three weeks has earned $28.5M.

Stop-motion animated CORALINE (Focus Features, animation by LAIKA) made another $305,114, dropping almost 86 percent as it was pulled out of 3-D screens. In eight weeks, it has made $74M. FLY ME TO THE MOON (Summit Ent.) is sticking around in nine theaters, and made $36,034. In 33 weeks it has a cume of $13.4M. WALTZ WITH BASHIR (Sony Pictures Classics) is still in 46 theaters, and made $18,420 and in 14 weeks has earned $2.22M.

Box office information from