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Carell's 'Virgin' Stays on Top With $16.4M

Steve Carell's second time at the top of the box office was almost as good as the first.

"The 40-Year-Old Virgin," starring Carell as a middle-aged man who has never had sex, remained the No. 1 movie with $16.4 million, a strong hold from its opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Terry Gilliam's "The Brothers Grimm," a fantasy starring Matt Damon (search) and Heath Ledger (search) as the 19th century fairy-tale siblings, debuted in second place with $15.1 million.

"The Cave," an underground monster movie featuring Morris Chestnut (search), Piper Perabo (search) and Cole Hauser, opened weakly at No. 6 with $6.2 million.

The weekend's other new wide release — the romance "Undiscovered," featuring Ashlee Simpson and Pell James as gal pals who fabricate media buzz to help a friend's music career — flopped with just $690,000, finishing far out of the top 10.

A movie slump continued, with the top-12 films taking in $82.8 million, down 2.5 percent from the same weekend last year. Hollywood is having its worst year since the late 1990s, with summer attendance expected to come in 12 percent behind 2004's, according to box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

There have been bright spots amid the slump, notably the racy R-rated comedies "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Wedding Crashers," which are holding well on the strength of good reviews and word of mouth.

"Wedding Crashers," starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn as buddies who intrude on strangers' nuptials to pick up women, remained the No. 5 film with $6.25 million, lifting its seven-week total to $187.7 million. The movie's weekend haul was down just 22 percent, a strong hold considering many films drop 50 percent or more in subsequent weekends.

Likewise, "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" held up well, its gross down just 23 percent from its $21.4 million opening weekend.

"This is a buzz type of movie. Like `Wedding Crashers,' it's one of those that just begs for repeat viewings and for people to tell their friends about it," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations. "It's sufficiently outrageous to get people talking it up and to continue to bring in an audience."

The release of "The Brothers Grimm" was delayed for a year as Gilliam feuded over the final version with brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein, the heads of Miramax Films, whose Dimension banner released the movie.

"The Brothers Grimm" is among a rush of long-delayed Miramax movies now being released as the Weinsteins prepare to depart Disney-owned Miramax for a new film company they have formed.

For Gilliam ("The Fisher King," "Twelve Monkeys"), it was his first film since 1998's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." "Brothers Grimm" got mixed reviews at best, though.

"It's a respectable opening," Dergarabedian said. "You can't underestimate the following that Terry Gilliam has. Whether the movie was delayed for a year or two, people just want to see what he's going to put on the screen. Having a name like Matt Damon doesn't hurt, either."

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures will be released Monday.

1. "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," $16.4 million.

2. "The Brothers Grimm," $15.1 million.

3. "Red Eye," $10.4 million.

4. "Four Brothers," $7.8 million.

5. "Wedding Crashers," $6.25 million.

6. "The Cave," $6.2 million.

7. "March of the Penguins," $4.6 million.

8. "The Skeleton Key," $4.4 million.

9. "Valiant," $3.35 million.

10. "The Dukes of Hazzard," $3.05 million.