‘Tangled’ Outdraws ‘Harry Potter’ to Lead Box Office

“Tangled,” Walt Disney Co.’s animated update of the fairy tale of Rapunzel, was the top weekend movie at U.S. and Canadian theaters, with $21.6 million in ticket sales.

“Tangled” rose to first place after opening second behind “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part I” a week earlier. “The Warrior’s Way,” the only new film in wide release, was ninth with $3.0 million, researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement.

Sales for “Tangled” raise Burbank, California-based Disney’s fortunes as the studio prepares to release “Tron: Legacy,” a sequel to the 1982 picture about a man trapped in a video game. Disney ranked fourth among studios with $1.28 billion in domestic sales as of Dec. 2, according to Box Office Mojo. Time Warner Inc. was first with $1.8 billion.

“The only two movies people are excited about are ‘Tangled’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,’ which just swapped positions,” Gitesh Pandya, editor of boxofficeguru.com, said in a telephone interview. “People are waiting for the next wave of holiday films,” including “Tron.”

“That should jumpstart the box office,” Pandya said. Hollywood.com said this weekend’s receipts at $78.3 million were the second-lowest gross for the year.

“Tangled” tells the story of Rapunzel, a girl whose magical hair is 70 feet long. Locked away in a tower, she is freed by a charming bandit. Mandy Moore provides the voice of Rapunzel and Zachary Levi plays the bandit Flynn Rider.

$244 Million

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 1,” the seventh film in the series based on J.K. Rowling’s books, had sales of $17 million. It has taken in $244.5 million in domestic ticket sales for Warner Bros. since it was released on Nov. 19, according to Hollywood.com.

In “Deathly Hallows,” Lord Voldemort, played by Ralph Fiennes, gains control of the magical world as Harry and his pals, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, go into hiding. They try to avoid capture while seeking artifacts that hold portions of the evil wizard’s soul. The returning cast includes Daniel Radcliffe in the title role, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson.

“Burlesque,” starring Christina Aguilera and Cher, finished third with $6.1 million. The film follows a young woman, played by Aguilera, who tries to make it as a dancer in a club run by Cher’s character. Sony Pictures is the distributor.

‘Love and Other Drugs’

“Unstoppable,” an action film starring Denzel Washington, came in fourth place with $6.0 million in sales in its fourth week. In the News Corp. film, Washington plays a veteran railroad engineer and Chris Pine portrays an inexperienced conductor attempting to stop a runaway train.

“Love and Other Drugs,” featuring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, was fifth, taking in $5.7 million in its second weekend. Hathaway plays a free-spirited woman who is pursued by a charming salesman, played by Gyllenhaal. The romantic comedy was released by News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox.

Ninth place’s “The Warrior’s Way,” from Relativity Media LLC, stars Korean actor Jang Dong-gun as an Asian swordsman who travels to the American Old West. Kate Bosworth and Geoffrey Rush are also featured.

‘Black Swan’

Among movies opening in limited release, the thriller “Black Swan,” featuring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis as rival ballerinas, generated sales of $1.44 million for News Corp.’s Fox Searchlight.

“Aside from wide releases, ‘Black Swan’ with Natalie Portman is one to watch in the weeks ahead,” Pandya said. “It was the No. 13 movie in the country and is only showing in 18 theaters. It’s a movie sure to get her an Oscar nomination.”

Sales for the weekend’s top 12 films fell 14 percent from a year earlier, according to Hollywood.com. This year’s domestic box-office sales total $9.78 billion, up 1.6 percent from a year earlier. Attendance is down 3.4 percent.

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales for Dec. 3 to Dec. 5.

                     Rev.             Avg./    Pct.   Total
Movie               (mln)  Theaters  Theater   Chg.   (mln)  Wks
================================================================
 1 TANGLED             21.6   3,603   5,997    -56     96.6    2
 2 HARRY POTTER        17.0   4,125   4,126    -65    244.5    3
 3 BURLESQUE            6.1   3,037   2,018    -49     27.0    2
 4 UNSTOPPABLE          6.0   3,152   1,894    -48     68.8    4
 5 LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS 5.7   2,458   2,300    -42     22.6    2
 6 MEGAMIND             4.9   3,173   1,556    -61    136.6    5
 7 DUE DATE             4.1   2,450   1,687    -42     90.9    5
 8 FASTER               3.9   2,470   1,593    -54     18.2    2
 9 THE WARRIOR’S WAY    3.0   1,622   1,880     --      3.0    1
10 THE NEXT THREE DAYS  2.6   2,236   1,150    -45     18.3    3
11 MORNING GLORY        1.7   2,263     743    -57     29.0    4
12 127 HOURS            1.6     433   3,739     -5      6.6    5


Top 12 Films Grosses

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
     $78.3         $91.4      -14.4


Year-to-date Revenue

     2010          2009
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $9,780        $9,626       +1.6

Year-to-date Attendance:      -3.4%

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net; Krista Giovacco in New York at kgiovacco1@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net.

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