Clapboard : Aniston’s Marley & Me Is Top Dog

LOS ANGELES ~ Jennifer Aniston scored a victory over ex-husband Brad Pitt at the North American box office with her new dramatic comedy Marley & Me, final figures showed.

The former Friends actress and funnyman Owen Wilson play a married couple struggling to get to grips with a troublesome dog in a movie adaptation of journalist John Grogan’s bestselling 2005 book.

The combination of America’s sweetheart Aniston and a Labrador proved irresistible to moviegoers, who propelled it to spot in the standings with US$36.4 million, box office tracker Exhibitor Relations said.

Since opening on Christmas Day, the film has earned a cool $50.7 million.

In second place over the weekend was Bedtime Stories. The Adam Sandler comedy about a janitor whose dreams begin to come true brought in $27.5 million in its opening weekend.

Pitt’s new film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – regarded as an early frontrunner for honors at next year’s Oscars, posted a solid $26.9 million on its opening weekend.

The period drama stars Pitt as a man who ages in reverse and his efforts to find love with his long-time sweetheart, played by Cate Blanchett.

Tom Cruise’s Nazi epic Valkyrie, about a plot by German officers to assassinate Adolf Hitler, came in fourth in its debut weekend with $21 million.

The comedy Yes Man, featuring Jim Carrey as a man who changes his life by agreeing to everything, raked in $16.7 million for fifth place in its second weekend at theatres.

The drama Seven Pounds starring Will Smith as a man haunted by a secret pulled in $13.2 million, while the animated flick The Tale of Despereaux, about a big-eared mouse with great curiosity and ambitions, followed in seventh place with $8.9 million.

Science fiction thriller The Day the Earth Stood Still, dropped to eighth place after its number-one debut four weeks ago, earning $7.7 million. The Fox remake of a 1951 cult classic stars Keanu Reeves as an alien that comes to Earth.

The Spirit, which chronicles the return-from-the-dead of a rookie cop as a supernatural hero, debuted in ninth place with $6.5 million.

Rounding out the top 10 was Doubt, starring Meryl Streep as a nun who confronts molestation in the Catholic church, with $5.3 million.

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