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Hannah Montana movie tops weekend box office in N America
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Hollywood has once again learned to never, ever underestimate the power of teenaged girls, as the new Hannah Montana movie opened at the top of box office this weekend with an estimated US$29 million in North American ticket sales.

"Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds" had young ladies lined up and swamping computer ticket sales outlets, according to Los Angeles-based box office tracking firm Media By Numbers Sunday.

The movie is a 3-D country music concert performed by Hanna Montana, a wildly-popular Disney Channel sitcom series character played by Miley Cyrus, the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus.

The Disney release was limited, playing in only 683 theaters in the United States. But each movie house booked an incredible average of US$42,460 in sales, according to Media By Numbers.

Disney released a statement Sunday crowing that the film is the biggest-grossing 3-D ever released, and said it will extend the film's booking at the limited number of theaters that can properly screen it.

Meanwhile, The Eye, a Lionsgate thriller starring Jessica Alba, also opened to strong business with an estimated US$13 million in sales. But its per-theater average--a healthy US$5,337--was just one eighth that of Hannah and shows the teen movie's incredible strength.

Poster of Hannah Montana (file photo: Xinhua)

The 20th Century Fox film 27 Dresses was in third place, proving that there is always room for a wintertime romantic comedy despite generally tepid reviews. it was on track to sell US$8.4 million in its third week of release, for a total so far of about US$57 million.

Last week's box office leader, Meet The Spartans, a spoof comedy which parodies the 2006 blockbuster 300 and other recent movies, pop culture events, and celebrities, slipped to No. 5 this weekend with US$7.1 million, while Oscar-nominated teenage pregnancy comedy June remained steady in the fourth with US$7.5 million after nine weeks in release.

(Agencies via Xinhua February 4, 2008)

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