‘Ghost Rider’ roars past new films

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The comic-book adaptation “Ghost Rider” burned the competition at the weekend box office, fending off a rush of new movies to rake in $19.7 million in its second week, according to studio estimates Sunday. The Sony film, starring Nicolas Cage as a motorcycle stuntman turned Satanic bounty hunter, continued its momentum after debuting last week with $52 million over the four-day Presidents Day weekend, the biggest opening ever for that weekend. “It set the bar so high last weekend that, for any newcomers, it was going to be real tough film to beat,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers. Premiering at No. 2 with $15.1 million was the New Line Cinema psychological thriller “The Number 23,” starring Jim Carrey as a man obsessed with the mysterious power of that number. The other new movies included the 20th Century Fox police spoof “Reno 911!: Miami,” which opened at No. 4 with $10.4 million, and “The Astronaut Farmer,” which stars Billy Bob Thornton and debuted at No. 9 with $4.5 million. Thornton plays an ex-NASA astronaut who struggles to build his own rocket in the Warner Bros. film. Disney’s “Bridge to Terabithia,” based on the children’s fantasy novel, slipped to third place with $13.6 million, lifting its total to $46.2 million. Dreamworks’ Eddie Murphy comedy “Norbit” rounded out the top five with $9.7 million. Despite bad reviews, “Ghost Rider” lifted Hollywood out of its box-office slump with revenues up for the second straight week this year. The top-12 movies grossed $101.8 million, up 1.5 percent from the same weekend last year. However, movie attendance to date this year is down 2.2 percent. “Ghost Rider” is based on the Marvel Comic books about motorcycle stunt driver Johnny Blaze, played by Cage, who sells his soul to the devil and gains fiery superpowers. last_img read more