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(L-R) Actress Analeigh Tipton, Director Jonathan Levine, Actress Teresa Palmer and Actor Nicholas Hoult attend a screening of the film "Warm Bodies" in New York January 25, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
"Warm Bodies," a romantic comedy featuring a warm-hearted zombie, lured teenage girls to the theater, collecting $20 million in ticket sales in the US and Canada to take the box office title on a weekend dominated by Super Bowl parties and football watching.
Playing in more than 3,000 theaters, the odd-pairing of a pale-faced zombie with his breathing girlfriend faced little competition among new films and easily mauled last weekend's winner "Hansel and Gretel," an updated version of the classic fairy tale with witch-hunting siblings. The film collected $9.2 million this weekend, according to studio estimates.
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The weekend's other widely released newcomer, Warner Brothers' "Bullet to the Head," starring 66-year old Sylvester Stallone as a tattooed hitman, collected $4.5 million for sixth place.
Two weeks earlier, another aging action star, Arnold Schwarzenegger had a feeble opening in his own shoot-em-up, "The Last Stand".
Based on a first time novel by Seattle writer Isaac Marion, "Warm Bodies" was produced for a little more than $30 million by Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment, the studio that also produced the mega-blockbuster "Twilight" series.
The film stars 24-year-old British actor Marcus Brewer as the pale, stiff-walking zombie R, one of the few zombies capable of thought in a plaque ravaged world.
"We were above expectations going into the holiday weekend," says David Spitz, Lionsgate's executive vice president and general sales manager.