‘Dragon,’ ‘Kick-Ass’ dueling for No. 1

'Dragon,' 'Kick-Ass' dueling for No. 1

There was another photo finish at the weekend boxoffice, as a leggy holdover again appeared to outpace a big wide-opener.

DreamWorks Animation’s leggy How to Train Your Dragon fetched an estimated $20 million to top preliminary domestic rankings. The Paramount-distributed 3D adventure piled cumulative coin to $158.6 million through four sessions.

Just a hair off the leader’s pace, Kick-Ass — a relatively inexpensive pickup for Lionsgate — posted a weekend opening less potent than its name yet hardly a kick in the pants for the minimajor. The well-reviewed romp about a band of not-very-super superheroes rung up $19.8 million, landing on the lower end of pre-release expectations.

The No. 1 and 2 positions could change Monday, depending on final data from distributors. Another wide-opener — Sony Screen Gem’s R-rated comedy Death at a Funeral,” with Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence — settled for fourth place with $17 million.

More positively, Fox’s PG-13 comedy Date Night starring Steve Carell and Tina Fey, used a tiny 31% drop from its week-earlier bow to ring up $17.3 million and grab third place in its sophomore session, and a $49.2 million cume. Warner Bros.’ 3D action fantasy Clash of the Titans — which overtook Date Night for No. 1 in the prior weekend’s race to the wire — finished fifth in its third frame with $15.8 million and a $133 million cume.

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