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Thunder holds onto top spot as domestic summer draws to a close

DreamWorks-Paramount's action comedy Tropic Thunder held on to the number one spot in a typically lacklustre late August weekend and added an estimated $16.1m for a $65.7m total.

Sony's comedy The House Bunny, which stars Anna Faris as a Playboy bunny cast out of the Mansion who helps a group of sorority girls, opened in second place on $15.1m, while Universal's prison action remake Death Race with Jason Statham and Joan Allen launched in third on $12.4m.

Warner Bros' The Dark Knight continued to march towards $500m and ranks fourth after six weekends after $10.3m raised the tally to a truly extraordinary $489.2m.

Dimension's family sports drama The Longshots starring Ice Cube as the father of a remarkable athlete opened in eighth place on just over $4m and finished a fraction above Universal's musical hit Mamma Mia!, which added a similar amount in its sixth weekend to bring the running total to $124.5m.

Fox's comedy The Rocker starring Rainn Wilson from the US version of The Office and directed by Peter Cattaneo crashed in its first weekend and opened in 12th place on $2.8m.

In limited release Focus Feature opened hit Sundance comedy Hamlet 2, which stars British comic Steve Coogan as a drama teacher who stages a controversial high school play, in 103 theatres. The film grossed $435,294 for a $4,226 print average.

The Weinstein Company/MGM's Vicky Cristina Barcelona grossed $3m, an excellent result from 692 sites. Music Box Film's French thriller Tell No One added $368,032 for $3.8m, while Samuel Goldwyn/Lakeshore's drama Elegy added $502,136 from 92 screens for $749,225. The film will expand into 25 additional markets on August 29.

Overall the summer season is running at $3.9bn and is expected to pass $4bn for the second year in a row. Higher ticket process, however, means actual admissions are estimated to be down 3% on last year.

Next weekend is Labor Day, which marks the official end of the summer season. Fox releases the sci-fi action title Babylon A.D. starring Vin Diesel; Lionsgate has the spoof Disaster Movie; MGM releases the comedy College starring Drake Bell; Overture releases the CIA thriller Traitor starring Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce and expands the drama Henry Poole Is Here with Luke Wison; and Focus Features expands the comedy Hamlet 2 starring Steve Coogan.

Estimated Top 10 North America Aug 22-24, 2008
Film (Dist)/Int'l dist/Est wkd gross/Est total to date

1 (1) Tropic Thunder (DreamWorks-Paramount) PPI $16.1m $65.7m
2 (-) The House Bunny (Sony) SPRI-various $15.1m -
3 (-) Death Race (Universal) UPI $12.3m -
4 (2) The Dark Knight (Warner Bros) WBPI $10.3m $489.2m
5 (3) Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Warner Bros) WBPI $5.7m $24.9m
6 (5) Pineapple Express (Sony) SPRI $5.6m $73.9m
7 (4) Mirrors (Fox) Fox Int'l $4.9m $20.1m
8 (-) The Longshots (MGM) TWC $4.304m -
9 (7) Mamma Mia! (Universal) UPI $4.303m $124.5m
10 (6) The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor (Universal) UPI $4.1m $93.8m

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