Monday, April 13, 2009

Hannah Montana rocks North American box office

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co 's " Hannah Montana: The Movie " doubled forecasts by earning $34 million worth of tickets at the Easter weekend box office in North America , as young fans of teen starlet Miley Cyrus rushed to see their heroine's first big-screen outing.

The movie ranks as the second-best Easter opening, following 2006's " Scary Movie 4 " with $40 million.

"Omgomg! my fans rock! the movie is doing great you guys!" Cyrus, 16, said in a Twitter message, using the "omg" acronym as shorthand for "Oh my God."

Disney had hoped "Hannah Montana" would perform in the same range as 2003's " The Lizzie McGuire Movie ," another big-screen vehicle for a Disney Channel star , in that case Hilary Duff . "Lizzie" opened to $17.3 million in 2003, and ended its domestic run with $42.7 million.

As in her hit TV series, Cyrus plays a regular schoolgirl by day and a pop star by night. But her father (real-life dad Billy Ray Cyrus ) decides she needs to get back to her small-town roots, so takes her on a surprise trip to her old Tennessee home where love and other complications ensue.

Last weekend's champion "Fast & Furious" slipped to No. 2 with $28.8 million, taking the 10-day total for Universal Pictures' race-car thriller to $118.0 million. The studio is a unit of General Electric Co's NBC Universal.

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc's "Monsters vs. Aliens" was down one at No. 3 with $22.6 million in its third weekend; its total rose to $141 million.

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