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'Ice Age' Heats Up Box Office With $68M

"Ice Age: The Meltdown" put some fire into Hollywood's chilly year, debuting with a whopping $68 million and delivering the fourth-best premiere ever for an animated movie.

It was the best opening ever for a movie debuting in March, easily beating the $46.3 million debut of the original "Ice Age" in 2002.

Among animated films, the "Ice Age" sequel came in behind the $108 million debut of "Shrek 2" and the openings of "The Incredibles" and "Finding Nemo," which both took in just over $70 million in their first weekends.

"Ice Age: The Meltdown" gave a jolt to the box office, with the top 12 movies taking in $132.9 million, up 35 percent from the same weekend last year. The big weekend was a pre-summer boost for Hollywood, whose returns have been stagnant this year after an 8 percent drop in attendance in 2005.

"Basic Instinct 2," Sharon Stone's belated sequel to her 1992 hit, bombed with just $3.2 million.

The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. are:

1. "Ice Age: The Meltdown," Fox, $68,033,544, 3,964 locations, $17,163 average, $68,033,544, one week.

2. "Inside Man," Universal, $15,437,760, 2,830 locations, $5,455 average, $52,508,055, two weeks.

3. "ATL," Warner Bros., $11,554,404, 1,602 locations, $7,212 average, $11,554,404, one week.

4. "Failure to Launch," Paramount, $6,463,434, 3,074 locations, $2,103 average, $73,088,790, four weeks.

5. "V For Vendetta," Warner Bros., $6,295,358, 2,910 locations, $2,163 average, $56,659,439, three weeks.

6. "Stay Alive," Disney, $4,506,719, 2,009 locations, $2,243 average, $17,280,614, two weeks.

7. "She's the Man," DreamWorks, $4,429,426, 2,552 locations, $1,736 average, $26,622,732, three weeks.

8. "Slither," Universal, $3,880,270, 1,945 locations, $1,995 average, $3,880,270, one week.

9. "The Shaggy Dog," Disney, $3,242,414, 2,929 locations, $1,107 average, $53,554,291, four weeks.

10. "Basic Instinct 2," Sony, $3,201,420, 1,453 locations, $2,203 average, $3,201,420, one week.

11. "Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector," Lionsgate, $3,159,370, 1,747 locations, $1,808 average, $11,459,366, two weeks.

12. "The Hills Have Eyes," Fox Searchlight, $1,887,636, 1,628 locations, $1,159 average, $39,003,204, four weeks.

13. "Thank You For Smoking," Fox Searchlight, $1,606,328, 126 locations, $12,749 average, $3,349,398, three weeks.

14. "Eight Below," Disney, $967,928, 1,275 locations, $759 average, $79,172,307, seven weeks.

15. "16 Blocks," Warner Bros., $707,401, 1,007 locations, $702 average, $35,526,665, five weeks.

16. "Deep Sea 3-D," Warner Bros., $468,178, 46 locations, $10,178 average, $4,467,887, five weeks.

17. "Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion," Lionsgate, $433,724, 476 locations, $911 average, $62,802,119, six weeks.

18. "The Pink Panther," Sony, $418,425, 626 locations, $668 average, $81,688,700, eight weeks.

19. "Big Momma's House 2," Fox, $382,560, 300 locations, $1,275 average, $69,226,041, 10 weeks.

20. "Aquamarine," Fox, $380,030, 488 locations, $779 average, $18,007,080, five weeks.