Rambo took $18.2m and sees Sylvester Stallone reprise his role as the die-hard former Green Beret who assembles a crack squad of mercenaries to rescue Christian Aid hostages in Burma.
'We're really excited about the launch and as there is a good possibility that we can make a sequel,' TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein said. 'When you cross $18m and you appeal to an older demographic you see more durability. We are the guys next weekend. Word of mouth will build and I thing we can go over to a female audience.'
Weinstein, whose brother Bob Weinstein bought the film rights years ago, paid tribute to Lionsgate and producer Avi Lerner for their involvement. He added that the $45m film was helped by its PG-13 rating. It opened in the expected range and Weinstein said he expected it to finish on approximately $50m domestic and $150m international.
Meanwhile Fox Searchlight's Juno crossed $100m in its eighth weekend, an astonishing achievement given the scale of the film and the size of competition it has faced each week. The film ranks sixth on $100.2m after adding $10.3m, and should continue to make gains over the next month as the studio capitalises on Juno's four Oscar nominations for film, director, lead actress and original screenplay.
The cyber-thriller Untraceable starring Diane Lane opened in sixth place on $11.2m, which was probably a little below what domestic distributor Sony expected. Paramount's monster movie Cloverfield slipped three places to fourth on $12.7m for an excellent $64.3m running total after two weekends.
Buena Vista's National Treasure: Book Of Secrets crossed $200m in its sixth weekend and ranks ninth on $205.4m. There Will Be Blood, buoyed by eight Oscar nominations including film, director, lead actor, adapted screenplay and editor, broke into the top 10 for the first time in its five-week career, climbing three places to eighth on $4.9m for $14.8m Paramount Vantage holds domestic rights.
Overture Films' maiden launch Mad Money is clinging on to the top 10 and ranks 10th after its second weekend on $15.3m. Company executives expect to make most of their money back from ancillary markets.
Next weekend is Superbowl Weekend, traditionally a treacherous time for films. The wide releases that dare to challenge American football's biggest weekend of the year are: Buena Vista's 3-D concert film Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best Of Both Worlds Concert; Lionsgate's horror title The Eye with Jessica Alba; and New Line's comedy Over her Dead Body with Eva Longoria and Paul Rudd.
Estimated Top 10 North America Jan 25-27, 2007
Film (Dist)/Int'l dist/Est wkd gross/Est total to date
1 (-) Meet The Spartans (Fox) Fox Int'l $18.7m -
2 (-) Rambo (Lionsgate/TWC) Nu Image/Millenium $18.2m -
3 (2) 27 Dresses (Fox) Fox Int'l $13.6m $45.3m
4 (1) Cloverfield (Paramount) PPI $12.7m $64.3m
5 (-) Untraceable (Sony) Lakeshore Entertainment $11.2m -
6 (4) Juno (Fox Searchlight) Fox Int'l $10.3m $100.2m
7 (3) The Bucket List (Warner Bros) WBPI $10.2m $57.7m
8 (11) There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage) Miramax/WDSMPI $4.9m $14.8m
9 (7) National Treasure: Book Of Secrets (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $4.7m $205.4m
10 (6) Mad Money (Overture Films) Nu Image/Millenium $4.6m $15.3m