LABOR DAY LEADERS: ‘Babylon A.D.’ #1 Friday But ‘Tropic Thunder’ Should Win Weekend; ‘Dark Knight’ To Pass $500 Mil

BABYLON A.D.LOS ANGELES,(RUSHPRNEWS)08/30/2008–The summer box office may have run up near-record numbers, but it crawls to a close this Labor Day weekend with some very uneven films. Twentieth Century Fox’s Vin Diesel sci-fi starrer Babylon A.D. (3,390 theaters) was No. 1 Friday with a narrow margin of victory, but DreamWorks/Paramount’s moviemaking spoof Tropic Thunder (3,473) from Ben Stiller should finish the 3-day weekend and 4-day holiday on top for the third straight week.

Coming in 3rd place should be Warner Bros’ The Dark Knight (2,750) which on Sunday or Monday will pass the $500 million mark domestically in record time. It’s already the second-highest grossing pic of all time behind only Titanic’s $600.8 million domestically.

Don Cheadle’s star turn in Overture’s political thriller Traitor (2,054) stirred some interest when it debuted Wednesday to $792K from 2,054 venues, but managed to come in only 5th on Friday. Lionsgate’s ill-timed and badly done spoof Disaster Movie (2,642), savaged by New Orleans film critics for opening on the 3rd anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, managed only 7th place.

MGM’s imbecilic R-rated laffer College (2,123) was roundly rejected for only a 15th place opening Friday. And Focus Features’ well-cast laugher Hamlet 2 (1,597) opened Wednesday with a disappointing $245K in 1,530 theaters and managed just No. 17th Friday.

Top 10 Movies — Friday Totals, 3-Day Weekend Rankings, 4-Day Holiday Estimates:
1. Tropic Thunder (DWorks/Paramount), $3M Friday, $11.5M weekend, $14 holiday
2. Babylon A.D. (20th Century Fox), $3.1M Friday, $9.4M weekend, $11.6M holiday
3. The Dark Knight (Warner Bros), $2.1M Friday, $9M weekend, $11.5M holiday
4. The House Bunny (Sony), $2.5M Friday, $8M weekend, $10.5M holiday
5. Traitor (Overture), $2.2M Friday, $8M weekend, $10M holiday
6. Death Race (Universal), $1.7M Friday, $6.4M weekend, $8.3M holiday
7. Disaster Movie (Lionsgate), $2M Friday, $6M weekend, $6.5M holiday
8. Mamma Mia! (Universal), $1.1M Friday, $4.4M weekend, $5.8M holiday
9. Pineapple Express (Sony) $972K Friday, $3.5M weekend, $4.4M holiday
10. Clone Wars (LucasFilm/Warner Bros), $684K Friday, $2.9M weekend, $4M holiday
15. College (MGM), $700K Friday, $2M weekend, $2.4M holiday
17. Hamlet 2 (Focus), $500K Friday, $1.7M weekend, $2M holiday

Source: Nikki Finke DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD DAILY