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Last Updated: Monday, 11 April, 2005, 08:28 GMT 09:28 UK
Sahara leads box office in the US
Penelope Cruz
Sahara star Penelope at the film's recent Los Angeles premiere
Action thriller Sahara has become the number one film at the US and Canada box office after three days on release.

The Hollywood blockbuster, starring Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz, beat Fever Pitch - the weekend's other major new film - into third place.

The downturn in box office returns continued, with overall takings down for the seventh weekend in succession.

The top 12 films took $80.3m (42.6m) across North America - a slide of 18% compared to the same weekend in 2004.

Baseball romance

Sahara, a high octane film about a group of adventurers who find themselves in the midst of a civil war, took $18.5m (9.8m).

Fever Pitch, a baseball romance movie starring Drew Barrymore, was beaten into third place by Sahara and last week's box office chart topper Sin City.

TOP FIVE US FILMS
Bruce Willis
1 Sahara - $18.5m
2 Sin City (above)- $14.1m
3 Fever Pitch $13m
4= Beauty Shop $7.1m
4= Guess Who $7.1m
Source: Exhibitor Relations
Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office tracker Exhibitor Relations, said the film's content may have split the potential audience.

"It may have alienated guys with too much romance, and it may have alienated women with too much baseball," he said.

But Bruce Snyder, head of distribution at 20th Century Fox which released Fever Pitch, said romantic comedies have a long life at the box office, tending to "play on and on".

Chinese film Kung Fu Hustle made a comparatively good start to its box office run in the US.

The film, which has already been a hit in Asia, took $293,025 (155,470) after a limited release at just seven cinemas.

The martial arts action thriller is due to be released nationwide in the US on 22 April.



SEE ALSO:
Willis film tops box office in US
04 Apr 05 |  Entertainment
Robots takes over global cinemas
29 Mar 05 |  Entertainment
Comedy remake tops US box office
28 Mar 05 |  Entertainment
Ring sequel heads US box office
21 Mar 05 |  Entertainment
Family films boost US box office
16 Mar 05 |  Entertainment


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