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Posted at 10:20 PM ET, 03/20/2011

Weekend box office: Bradley Cooper’s ‘Limitless’ drug trip is tops


(Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper in “Limitless.” (John Baer))

Limitless” opened with a modest $19 million, but that was enough to make it the No. 1 movie in America, and, perhaps, to establish that Bradley Cooper can appeal to audiences as a leading man.

Which other stars and film deserve congratulations and condolences as a result of their ticket sales? Let’s run down the list, and count down the top five weekend box office finishers.

Congratulations to...

Bradley Cooper: Somewhere, “The Hangover” star must be breathing a sigh of relief. Granted, the aforementioned $19 million “Limitless” brought in over the weekend isn’t a huge sum. But now Cooper can say he starred in a movie that opened at No. 1, which could help him as he attempts to score other juicy starring roles. Maybe this news also will provide some solace following that alleged break-up with Renee Zellweger.

“Rango”: That smoking chameleon with Johnny Depp’s voice has got some staying power. It remained in second place with $15.3 million, bringing its total box office to $92.5 million. That put it in the No. 4 spot for the year so far, when, for the record, so far not a single movie has crossed the $100 million mark.

Justin Bieber: According to Box Office Mojo, his “Never Say Never” has now earned $72. 2 million, about $200,000 more than “Michael Jackson’s This is It.”And that makes it the highest grossing concert movie of all time.

Condolences to...

Matthew McConaughey:The Lincoln Lawyer” received some positive reviews, but its revenue was just so-so, at $13.4 million. That’s less than McConaughey’s two most recent major studio star turns, in “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” (which opened with $15.4 million) and “Fool’s Gold” (which opened with $21.5 million).

The “Paul” gang: “Paul,” the story of two British Comic-Con nerds (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) who meet an alien with the voice of Seth Rogen, had the most lackluster opening of the weekend’s new releases. It earned $13.1 million, which put it in fifth place. Once again, a film that got some positive buzz at Comic-Con (go figure) wasn’t able to connect with a broader, non-geek audience.

Battle: Los Angeles”: The other major alien movie currently in multiplexes lost 59 percent of its business, dropping from first place to third and from last weekend’s $35.5 million intake to $14.6 million this weekend. Sorry, Aron Eckhart.

Now, without further ado, here are the weekend’s top five films:

1. “Limitless” — $19 million

2. “Rango” — $15.3 million

3. “Battle: Los Angeles” — $14.6 million

4. “The Lincoln Lawyer” — $13.4 million

5. “Paul” — $13.1 million

And here’s your chance to predict next weekend’s box office winner via this handy poll:

By  |  10:20 PM ET, 03/20/2011

Categories:  Movies

 
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