Monday, January 12, 2009

Eastwood wins box office race with "Gran Torino"

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Clint Eastwood's "Gran Torino" crossed the finish line first at the weekend box office in North America on Sunday, setting a new record for the busy 78-year-old actor and director.

The suburban drama, in which Eastwood plays a grumpy old man who takes on Hmong gang members "Dirty Harry"-style, earned an estimated $29 million in the three days since it opened nationally on Friday, distributor Warner Bros. Pictures said.

Eastwood's previous best weekend was with "Space Cowboys," which earned $18 million in 2000. His most recent directing effort, "Changeling," earned $9.4 million during its first weekend of national release. "Gran Torino" has grossed $40.1 million since opening in limited release last month.

Three new movies, all playing mostly to women, entered the top 10 with better-than-expected results. "Bride Wars," starring Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson, opened at No. 2 with $21.5 million, followed by the supernatural thriller "The Unborn," at No. 3 with $21.1 million.

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