Blades Of Glory takes a second gold

But Grindhouse grinds to a halt at the US box office

After all the hype and buzz, it would appear that the only filmgoers interested in Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’ Grindhouse were people who either love the movie-making bad boys or those pining for a return to cinemas with sticky floors, cheap movies and exploit-o-grot. But more on Grindhouse in a moment.

The weekend belonged once more to Will Ferrell, who saw skating comedy Blades Of Glory slice the ice for a second winning weekend, making $23 million over the Easter weekend. Also doing swift business to stay in second place was Disney’s Meet The Robinsons, which will have the studio’s execs feeling happier as the movie only dropped about 32% to take in $17 million for $52.2 million so far. It doesn’t point to The Robinsons becoming a blockbuster, but at least it shouldn’t be a flop.

Taking some of that family ticket trade was Ice Cube’s kiddie-orientated comedy Are We Done Yet? With a Wednesday opening to take advantage of school holidays and the extended Easter weekend, Cube’s latest PG outing took $15 million.

You have to look down at fourth place to find poor old Grindhouse, which appears to have suffered from niche appeal, a poor choice of weekend (counter-programming against all the family fluff might have seemed a good idea, but it didn’t really work out when the majority of cinema-going over Easter is entire families) and length to stagger bloodied and beaten to $11.5 million. With a $53 million budget to recoup, it’s going to have to hope that international audiences love it.

Also opening poorly at fifth was Warners’ stab at the faith crowd with wrathful plague thriller The Reaping. Hilary Swank’s attempt to take the money and run didn’t exactly score with audiences, opening to $10.1 million. It’ll need a miracle to make any real profit.

Still performing well were those Spartans of 300, which added $8.8 million to its total of $193.9 million in sixth. It’s expected to break the $200 million mark sometime next week. And talking of survivors, Wild Hogs drove into seventh for $6.8 million and $145.4 million so far.

Mark Wahlberg’s gun-loving thriller Shooter dropped to eighth, making $5.8 million, while those heroes in a half-shell (TMNT) saw the new family films eat into their performance, tumbling to ninth and nabbing $4.8 million for a running total of $46.6 million.

That was still better than Fox’s attempt to get a piece of the family film pie, with Benji-alike Firehouse Dog proving a lame mutt with just $3.8 million on its first weekend out of the kennel. Someone fetch the Old Yeller gun…