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'Roommate' tops weekly box-office honor

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LOS ANGELES— The college thriller “The Roommate” has moved into the top spot at the box office with a $15.6 million debut during a typically slow Super Bowl weekend in which the NFL championship game preoccupies movie fans.
The Sony release features Leighton Meester as a psycho freshman who becomes obsessed with her new roomie (Minka Kelly).
The 3-D underwater cave adventure “Sanctum,” whose producers include “Avatar” creator James Cameron, drew modest crowds and came in second with $9.2 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Released by Universal, “Sanctum” is a survival story about explorers trapped underground in flooded caves during a monster storm.
The previous weekend’s No. 1 movie, Anthony Hopkins’ exorcism thriller “The Rite,” fell steeply to sixth-place with $5.6 million. The Warner Bros. release raised its 10-day total to $23.7 million.
Revenue estimates were off sharply on Sunday as football fans gave movies a pass in favor of the big game. Even without the Super Bowl, though, it was another sleepy weekend at theaters, with overall business down for the 13th-straight weekend compared to last year, when Cameron’s 3-D sensation “Avatar” still was riding high.


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