Box Office Wrapup: The Dogs Rule Once Again

Quarantine pulls surprise victory over Body of Lies.

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In one of the bigger upsets in recent box office history, the canine adventure Beverly Hills Chihuahua remained at number one with the highly touted and highly pedigreed Body of Lies landing with a thud in third.

The rich dogs of Beverly Hills took pole position at the box office once again this weekend as Beverly Hills Chihuahua lapped up another $17.5M, according to estimates, a fall of 40% from last weekend's debut. The total for the PG-rated family adventure stands at $52.5M with the $100M brass ring now within site.

Second place was a surprise with the Sony horror flick Quarantine scaring up an estimated $14.2M for a per screen average of a strong $5,770, tops in the top 10. Wit Halloween just around the corner, moviegoers were looking for a couple of good scares and the well-marketed Quarantine was just the ticket.

Landing in third place with a very loud thud was the (former) Academy Award hopeful Body of Lies. With past Academy winners and nominees taking part in all aspects of the film including writing (William Monahan), directing (Ridley Scott) and acting (Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crow), Lies was expected to easily debut at number one but instead the war-on-terror story set in the Middle East did not resonate with audiences. Lies grossed $13.1M this weekend, according to estimates, for a per screen average of $4,841 while playing on 250 more screens than Quarantine.

The highest grossing film of the season, Eagle Eye, fell to fourth place this weekend with an estimated $11M, a drop of 38% from last weekend, bringing it's cume to $70.5M. Fifth place belonged to another holdover, the teen dramedy Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist which took in $6.5M this weekend, according to estimates, bringing its total to $20.8M. Look for a final gross in the $40M range.

Debuting quietly in sixth place was the Universal football drama The Express with an estimated $4.7M. The story of Heisman-winning running back Ernie Davis failed to connect with moviegoers but should see better results on DVD.

Rob Brown as Ernie Davis in The Express

Seventh place belonged to lovers as Nights in Rodanthe fell 37% to $4.6M, according to estimates, bringing it's total to $32.3M.

The battle for eighth and ninth was a close one as the reported difference between the two films was only $18,000. Currently in eighth is the Warner Brothers western Appaloosa which roped in an estimated $3.34M this weekend, bringing its total to $10.8M. Rising into the top 10 at number nine was the period drama The Duchess with an estimated $3.32M bringing its cume to $5.6M for Paramount Vantage.

Crash landing at number 10 was the debuting fantasy film City of Ember from Fox. The story of an underground city on the verge of collapse was yet another film that failed to connect with paying audiences, grossing an estimated $3.2M for a poor per screen average of $1,583, the lowest in the top 10.

The top ten films grossed $81.5M which was up 1.5% from last year when Why Did I Get Married? opened in the top spot with $21.4M; and down 15.5% from 2006 when The Grudge 2 debuted at number one with $20.8M.