Semi-Pro dunks the US box office

It’s a number one, but a disappointing score for Will Ferrell’s latest

So this is how New Line’s time as a semi-independent film studio ends: not with a bang, but with a whimper, as the latest Will Ferrell sports comedy opens at the US box office with $15.2 million. It was enough for Semi-Pro to take the top spot, but considering it arrived in more than 3,000 cinemas and was expected to do double that business, it’s a sober victory.

Last week’s number one, Vantage Point, managed to hold on to a good portion of its audience, dropping just 43% to take $13 million for a current total of $21 million. The Spiderwick Chronicles also went down one, with a total box office to date of $55.1 million. It’ll have to go some around the world to make back its $90 million estimated budget.

Also arriving in cinemas was The Other Boleyn Girl, which nabbed the female crowd turned off by the idea of Ferrell in short shorts. The historical drama starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson grabbed $8.3 million. That put it in fourth, ahead of Jumper, which sank down to fifth with $7.6 million and Step Up 2 The Streets in sixth, which has made $48.6 million so far and already has a follow-up (Step Up 3D, no less) scheduled.

At seventh, Fool’s Gold spent its fourth weekend in the charts adding $4.7 million to its $59 million total, while at eighth, Christina Ricci starrer Penelope arrived on 1,200 screens and took in $4 million.

At the bottom of the charts were two Oscar winners, riding the golden baldies’ coattails to some handy extra box office – No Country For Old Men expanded its cinema count and added $4 million to its $69.6 million gross, while Juno continued to soar, pumping $3.35 million into its $135 million total.