LOS ANGELES – Animated autos retained the pole position as "Cars" came in No. 1 at the U.S. box office for a second weekend with $31.2 million (euro24.66 million), holding off the wrestling comedy "Nacho Libre" and another car tale, "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift."
"Cars," from Disney and Pixar, beat a rush of new movies, lifting its 10-day domestic total to $114.5 million (euro90.5 million), according to studio estimates Sunday.
Paramount's "Nacho Libre," starring Jack Black as a cook at a Mexican orphanage who takes up wrestling to buy better food for the kids, debuted in second place with $27.5 million (euro21.74 million).
The third in the "Fast and the Furious" racing franchise, Universal's "Tokyo Drift" opened at No. 3 with $24.1 million (euro19 million). The movie stars Lucas Black as a speed freak who gets caught up in Japan's illegal racing scene.
"Speed" co-stars Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock reunited for the Warner Bros. romantic drama "The Lake House," which took in $13.7 million (euro10.83 million) to place fourth. The time-bending tale casts Reeves and Bullock as pen pals corresponding with each other two years apart.
The weekend's other new wide release, 20th Century Fox's "Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties," opened weakly with $7.2 million (euro5.7 million), coming in sixth. The live-action and animated sequel features the voice of Bill Murray as the comic-strip fat cat.
"Garfield" had been competing for the same family audience as "Cars," whose voice cast includes Owen Wilson and Paul Newman in a comedy about a race car that learns the value of slowing down.
"I guess the family audience picked their favorite and decided that this is what it was going to be," said Chuck Viane, head of distribution at Disney, which recently bought its animation partner Pixar, the maker of "Finding Nemo," "The Incredibles" and the "Toy Story" movies.
The week's two sequels came in well below their predecessors. "The Fast and the Furious," with Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, opened with $40.1 million (euro31.7 million) in 2001, and Walker's 2003 followup "2 Fast 2 Furious" debuted with $50.5 million (euro39.92 million).
"Garfield: The Movie" took in $21.7 million (euro17.15 million) over opening weekend in 2004.
In limited release, the IFC Films crossword-puzzle documentary "Wordplay" opened solidly with $34,959 (euro27,633) at two New York City theaters. The film, featuring interviews with such crossword enthusiasts as former President Bill Clinton, comic Jon Stewart and the musical duo the Indigo Girls, expands to more theaters Friday.
Hollywood's overall business rose for the fifth-straight weekend. The top 12 movies took in $139.1 million (euro109.95 million), up 7 percent from the same weekend last year, when "Batman Begins" opened with $48.7 million (euro38.49 million).
Estimated ticket sales were for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures will be released Monday.
1. "Cars," $31.2 million (euro24.66 million).
2. "Nacho Libre," $27.5 million (euro21.74 million).
3. "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift," $24.1 million (euro19.05 million).
4. "The Lake House," $13.7 million (euro10.83 million).
5. "The Break-Up," $9.5 million (euro7.51 million).
6. "Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties," $7.2 million (euro5.69 million).
7. "X-Men: The Last Stand," $7.15 million (euro5.65 million).
8. "The Omen," $5.35 million (euro4.23 million).
9. "The Da Vinci Code," $5 million (euro3.95 million).
10. "Over the Hedge," $4.05 million (euro3.2 million).