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Box office lives high off the 'Hogs'

David Hinckley
New York Daily News (MCT)

Movie fans went hog wild over "Wild Hogs" this weekend.

The goofy ensemble biker comedy, starring John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, Tim Allen and William H. Macy, roared its way to a $38 million take at the box office, almost triple the total of second-place "Zodiac" at $13.1 million.

Critics called "Wild Hogs" silly and sophomoric, but audiences responded to a massive advertising campaign and its good-natured tale of four middle-age suburban men who run into unexpectedly weird adventures on a road trip.

"Zodiac," based on an unsolved series of California murders, stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. as reporters trying to crack the case.

The weekend's third major opening, "Black Snake Moan," finished eighth with $4 million. It stars Christina Ricci and Samuel L. Jackson in a perverse psychological relationship.

Nicolas Cage's "Ghost Rider" finished third with $11.5 million, raising its total to $94.8 million and setting it up to become the year's first $100 million flick.

"Wild Hogs" pushed the weekend total for the top 12 movies to $106 million, $23 million above the first weekend in March last year.

March is traditionally a dormant month for Hollywood. "Wild Hogs" had the third-highest opening weekend in March history.

Next weekend's major openings are "300," a heavily advertised period action film, and "The Ultimate Gift," a heartwarming drama with James Garner and Abigail Breslin.

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