New 'Matrix' loses spin

Film tops box office, but debut down 45 percent

— The sci-fi Matrix saga lost some of its spin at the U.S. box office, with "The Matrix Revolutions" pulling in $50.16 million in its opening weekend -- off 45 percent from the previous chapter's weekend debut.

"Revolutions," pummeled by critics as harshly as "The Matrix Reloaded" was last May, has grossed $85.5 million domestically since its debut Wednesday, according to studio estimates Sunday. While the numbers are high, they are still down from "Reloaded," which had a $91.8 million weekend debut and took in $134.2 million over its first four days.

Will Ferrell's Christmas comedy "Elf," about a human raised among the little people at the North Pole, opened strongly in second place with $32.1 million domestically. In narrower release, the romantic comedy "Love Actually" had a healthy debut with $6.6 million, coming in at No. 6.

Despite the domestic debut for the final "Matrix" chapter, the "Matrix" franchise this year already is pushing the $1 billion mark.

"Anytime you have a billion dollars in box office, that's pretty impressive," Joel Silver, producer of "The Matrix" franchise, said Sunday. "I don't know how you point a finger and say there's anything wrong there."

"Elf" and "Love Actually" were scheduled against "Matrix Revolutions" as alternatives to the sci-fi franchise, whose core audience is younger males.

Other estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.:

3. "Brother Bear," $18.6 million.

4. "Scary Movie 3," $11.1 million.

5. "Radio," $7.4 million.

7. "Mystic River," $4.83 million.

8 (tie). "Runaway Jury," $4.8 million.

8 (tie). "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," $4.8 million.

10. "The School of Rock," $3.15 million.

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