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This weekened form held, and as they always do Pixar captured the number one spot at the box office with their new movie Ratatouille. Unfortunately, there's a but attached to their win. Ratatouille may have been number one, but with a $47 million take it's the weakest opening for any Pixar movie since A Bug's Life in 1998.
To blame, at least in part, is probably John McClane whose better than expected new Die Hard adventure Live Free or Die Hard opened earlier in the week on Wednesday and stayed strong through the weekend in the face of computer animated competition. Live Free or Die Hard may have come in second, but it was strong with $33 million. A few parents must have chosen to ditch the kids and see stuff blow up instead of heading out to see rats cook for the French.
The weekend's other new release, uber-chick flick Evening barely registered, opening with a sub 1000 theater release and landing way down at the bottom of the box office at number 10.
More interesting is the performance of Michael Moore's new documentary Sicko, which was supposed to go wide for the first time this weekend. Originally it was expected to land in at least 800 theaters, but somehow ended up in only 441 instead. That didn't stop it from pulling in big audiences. Even in only 400 theaters the documentary managed to make $4.5 million and land at the number 9 spot. That gives it the weekend's second highest per-screen average, just behind Ratatouille, with a strong $10,204 earned per screen. It's also the second biggest opening of all time for any documentary. If Sicko ever gets around to upping its theater count, watch for it to climb even higher on the charts in coming weeks.