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Gambling Drama "21" Tops North American Box Office
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Sony Pictures' gambling drama "21" hit the jackpot this weekend at the box office in North America, opening in number one position and taking in about 23.7 million dollars in U.S. and Canadian theaters, preliminary figures said Sunday.

The fact-based film tells the story about a team of MIT whiz kids who were inspired by their professor to count cards at blackjack tables in Las Vegas casinos and rake in huge profits. Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey plays the coach of these students in the film.

After two weeks at No. 1, 20th Century Fox's animated "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears A Who" slipped one spot to No. 2 with an estimated 17.4 million dollars in ticket sales, according to the Los Angeles-based box office tracker Media By Numbers.

"Dr. Seuss' Horton," an adaptation from the book of the beloved children's book writer, became Hollywood's first blockbuster this year to hit the 100-million-dollar mark, with sales of about 117 million dollars over three weeks in release.

Another weekend-debuting film, "Superhero Movie," finished in third place with an estimated 9.6 million dollars in sales for the MGM picture, while prolific writer-filmmaker Tyler Perry's family comedy "Meet the Browns" slipped two spots to No. 4 with 7.8 million dollars.

The only other debut movie this weekend, "Stop-Loss," showed continued box office weakness for dramas based on the unpopular Iraq war, as it debuted in eighth place with a paltry 4.6 million dollars in ticket sales.

Overall business continued to dip for Hollywood this weekend, with the 12 top-selling films taking in about 90 million dollars, down about 23 percent from the same period last year.

(Xinhua News Agency March 31,2008)

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