AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2The only romantic comedies to have bigger openings were “Hitch” ($43.1 million) and “50 First Dates” ($40 million). While “The Break-Up” exceeded expectations, its first-place finish was helped mightily by a bigger-than-expected second week drop in business for “X-Men,” which took in an estimated $34.3 million. The film, based on the popular Marvel Comics franchise, dropped 67 percent from its amazing $102.8 million three-day opening that was part of a record $122.9 million Memorial Day weekend debut.“I expected it to be off from those phenomenal numbers,” said Bruce Snyder, president of distribution for 20th Century Fox, which released the film. “It’s kind of a distorted number, and we’ll see how we plateau next week.”“X-Men,” starring Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry, had strong mid-week grosses following its opening and now has a whopping 10-day domestic gross of $175.7 million.In third place was the DreamWorks Animation comedy “Over the Hedge,” which saw its grosses drop by just 24 percent from last weekend. The film took in an estimated $20.6 million and has earned $122.7 million to date.International box office sensation “The Da Vinci Code,” based on the best-selling book of the same name, slipped to fourth place with an estimated $19.5 million in ticket sales. The Ron Howard-directed religious thriller starring Tom Hanks has earned $172.6 million domestically and is closing in on the $600 million mark worldwide, according to Sony Pictures Entertainment. Star power trumped mutant power over the weekend as Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston propelled “The Break-Up” to a box office victory over “X-Men: The Last Stand,” according to studio estimates Sunday.The Universal Pictures release that was mostly slammed by critics clearly benefited from the endless publicity surrounding the reported real-life romance between its two stars, bringing in $38.1 million, the third-highest debut ever for a romantic comedy.The movie’s audience split evenly between the over-30 and under-30 crowds was two-thirds women.“You can’t say it hurt,” said Nikki Rocco, Universal’s president of distribution. “The public just loves Hollywood, and Jennifer and Vince have been on a lot of magazine covers and been the talk of the town. They are also two very likeable and talented people who are very much embraced by the public.” “It just goes to show the power of the book throughout the world,” said Rory Bruer, Sony’s president of distribution. “The movie was always intended to stay true to the book, and I think that’s carrying it through to audiences throughout the world.”Landing in the top 10 despite playing in limited release was “An Inconvenient Truth,” the documentary about global warming featuring former Vice President Al Gore. “Truth” expanded from just four theaters last weekend to 77 and took in an estimated $1.3 million, for a two-week total of $1.9 million.“We’re incredibly enthused by the film’s performance and how it continues to grow,” said Rob Schulze, executive vice president of distribution for Paramount Classics, the specialty film unit of Paramount Pictures, which plans to expand the film into the top 25 U.S. markets Friday, then into the top 100 in subsequent weeks.The top 12 films in the marketplace combined to earn an estimated $128.8 million, up 1.57 percent from the same weekend a year ago.That gives the movie industry its third up weekend in a row, and 10 out of the last 11 where weekend ticket sales exceeded those of 2005, according to the box office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations Co.“This is the third weekend in a row that we’ve had a movie open better than expectations,” said Exhibitor Relations President Paul Dergarabedian. “People are definitely back in the movie-going habit.”[email protected](818) 713-3758160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!