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‘Final Destination’ Tops Box Office

If the Final Destination franchise has taught us anything, it's that you can't outrun the Grim Reaper. Even if you're Brad Pitt or Michael Myers.

Both fell to the teen-snuffing horror film The Final Destination, which knocked Inglourious Basterds from the top spot and made mincemeat of Halloween II.

The fourth Destination took in $28.3 million, according to studio estimates from box office trackers Nielsen EDI.

The debut was $8 million more than most analysts projected and the highest opening yet for the franchise, which introduced 3-D to the series this time around.

"You have to say that made the difference," says Jeff Goldstein, distribution executive for Warner Bros., which released Destination. Goldstein says 3-D screens did three times the business of traditional 2-D screens.

The weekend was a strange showdown of movies from the same genre, targeting similar audiences. And Halloween II, the 10th installment of the slasher series, was no match. It earned $17.4 million and third place.

"Final Destination won, fair and square," says Bob Weinstein of the Weinstein Co., which released H2. "But this is a solid single or double for us. We're thrilled the market could support both movies."

Weinstein says the company will produce a third Halloween film for summer - in 3-D.

Pitt's Inglourious Basterds had a strong second weekend, dropping 47% from its debut to make $20 million and take second place.

The sci-fi thriller District 9 was fourth with $10.7 million, followed by G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra's $8 million.

The only other major newcomer, Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock, met expectations with $3.7 million, good for ninth place.

Ticket sales jumped 3% over last weekend and 28% over the same weekend last year. Final figures are due today.

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