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Arts and Entertainment

All Hail the Almighty Dollar: Box Office Boredom

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Movie grosses have for some reason become mainstream news, so starting today here's your weekend box office report. I'm only writing this column so I can someday use screaming headlines like "Boffo at the B.O.!" and other flagrant abuses of Variety-speak. (BTW, thank you Variety for posting weekend grosses so promptly on your site every Sunday morning. You've made my job a whole lot easier.)

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The big news? People are still watching Night At The Museum. I have no idea why except that perhaps audience-goers are given a free pre-frontal lobotomy with every ticket they purchase. If you absolutely need to sate your Ben Stiller jones, check out his turn on the Ricky Gervais show Extras where he plays a total A-S-S-H-O-L-E. Rumor has it that Stiller tried to get the episode axed (as in never allowing it to air), because the character he plays is just a little too close to home.

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Now the real news. Spoofalicious comedy Epic Movie topped the box office, raking in $19.2 mil, followed by nouveau grindhouse hit Smokin' Aces, which earned $14.3 mil. Coming in third place was Night At The Museum, still going strong in its fifth week of release. Romantic comedy Catch And Release came in fourth place with $8 mil while Stomp The Yard outshone Dreamgirls to earn the fifth and sixth spots, respectively. The Pursuit Of Happyness earned a very respectable $5 mil in its sixth week of release. Bouyed by excellent reviews, award nominations and strong word of mouth, Pan's Labyrinth came in eight place, earning $4.5 mil. The Queen ($4 mil) and The Hitcher ($3.6 mil) -- two very different movies that would make one idiosyncratic but amazing double feature -- rounded out the weekend's Top 10.

The total projected grosses for this weekend of moviegoing? $99,230,211.