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Sony’s ‘Just Go With It’ Is Top Film With $31 Million

The romantic comedy “Just Go With It” opened in first place in U.S. and Canadian theaters, taking in ticket sales of $30.5 million for Sony Corp.

The 3-D concert film “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” took second place in its debut, generating $29.5 million in sales for Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures, researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement. Sales fell for a 14th straight weekend, approaching the record of 19 set in 2005.

New films have failed to match the performance of 2010 releases, even as studios emerge from the shadow of “Avatar,” the top-grossing movie in history with $2.78 billion worldwide. The James Cameron film had weekend sales of $23.6 million a year ago, enough to influence comparisons.

“It was a good weekend, but the product overall this year just hasn’t been as appealing, and we just don’t have an ‘Avatar’ this year,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Hollywood.com’s box-office division. “But finally, we are starting to see films gain momentum.”

“Just Go With It” stars Adam Sandler as a plastic surgeon who is attracted to a younger woman. He enlists his assistant, played by Jennifer Aniston, to help cover up the lies he tells. Brooklyn Decker co-stars as the new love interest.

“Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” features the young singer in three-dimensional concert footage while examining his rise from a street performer in his hometown of Stratford, Ontario.

‘Gnomeo & Juliet’

“For Justin Bieber to be competing with Sandler in his first movie is astonishing,” said Dergarabedian. “The teen- girl audience wields a tremendous amount of clout, and when they get behind a movie or star, the box-office results can be amazing.”

Among other new releases, “Gnomeo & Juliet,” opened in third place with sales of $25.4 million. The Walt Disney Co. animated film, about romance among garden gnomes, features the voices of James McAvoy, Emily Blunt and Maggie Smith. It had the highest February opening for an animated film in box-office history, Hollywood.com said.

The action film “The Eagle,” from Comcast Corp.’s Focus Features, was fourth with $8.7 million. The film stars Channing Tatum as a Roman soldier who journeys into northern Britain to uncover the mystery surrounding his father’s death and restore his reputation.

Sales Down 24 Percent

Last weekend’s top film, the Sony thriller “The Roommate,” dropped to fifth place with $8.1 million. It stars Leighton Meester as a college freshman who becomes obsessed with her new roommate, played by Minka Kelly. The film was made for about $8 million, according to the Internet Movie Database.

Domestic box-office sales this year total $1.17 billion, down 24 percent from a year earlier. Attendance is off 25 percent. Revenue for the top 12 films this weekend was $134.8 million, down from $189 million a year earlier, according to Hollywood.com.

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales for Feb. 11-13.

                       Rev.            Avg./   Pct.   Total
Movie                 (mln)  Theaters  Theater Chg.   (mln)  Wks
================================================================
 1 JUST GO WITH IT    30.5    3,548    8,601    --     30.5    1
 2 JUSTIN BIEBER      29.5    3,105    9,505    --     30.3    1
 3 GNOMEO AND JULIET  25.4    2,994    8,469    --     25.4    1
 4 THE EAGLE           8.7    2,296    3,782    --      8.7    1
 5 THE ROOMMATE        8.1    2,534    3,207   -46     25.8    2
 6 THE KING’S SPEECH   7.2    2,263    3,195    -6     93.7   12
 7 NO STRINGS ATTACHED 5.8    2,756    2,108   -27     60.0    4
 8 SANCTUM             5.7    2,789    2,030   -40     18.0    2
 9 TRUE GRIT           3.8    2,072    1,827   -18    160.4    8
10 THE GREEN HORNET    3.7    2,090    1,758   -38     92.4    5
11 THE RITE            3.3    2,207    1,474   -42     28.9    3
12 THE MECHANIC        3.2    1,886    1,698   -40     25.4    3


Top 12 Films Grosses

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $134.8        $189.0      -28.7


Year-to-date Revenue

     2011          2010
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $1,165        $1,540      -24.3

Year-to-date Attendance:     -25.4%

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net. To contact the reporter on this story: Cordell Eddings in New York at ceddings@bloomberg.net

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