'Borat' hits more screens to retain top spot for 2nd week

David Hinckley
New York Daily News

Was glorious weekend again for "Borat," British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's look at America through the bizarre prism of a grammatically challenged, sex-crazed journalist from Kazakhstan.

"Borat," which is one part satire and two parts crude frat-house comedy, earned $29 million to hold the No. 1 box-office spot for a second consecutive week.

The film - the full name of which is "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" - made more money this weekend than last weekend, a rare feat achieved largely by tripling the number of screens on which it was shown from 837 to 2,556.

So far, the film, which cost less than $20 million to make, has pulled in $67.8 million.

The weekend's second and third most popular films were also holdovers: Tim Allen's "Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause," with $16.9 million, and the animated "Flushed Away" with $16.7 million.

The best of a weak crop of new films was "Stranger Than Fiction," in which Will Ferrell plays an IRS agent who hears a voice narrating his life.

"Stranger" finished fourth with $14.1 million.

The horror flick "The Return" with Sarah Michelle Gellar finished eighth with $4.8 million and Russell Crowe's poorly reviewed romantic comedy "A Good Year" was 10th with $3.8 million.

"Borat" faces considerably stronger competition next weekend with the opening of "Casino Royale," starring Daniel Craig in the first new James Bond film since 2002.

Another well-hyped animated flick, "Happy Feet," opens on Friday.





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