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'2 Guns' Bests 'The Wolverine' at Weekend Box Office

By Derrik J. Lang

LOS ANGELES -- The action-packed 2 Guns is No. 1 at the weekend box office.

The Universal (CMCSA) film starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg pulled the trigger to capture the top spot with $27.4 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The picture is based on a graphic novel of the same name and features Washington as a DEA agent and Wahlberg as a Naval Intelligence officer who must team up for an undercover operation involving drug traffickers and the CIA.

Nikki Rocco, head of distribution for Universal, said 2 Guns opened at the studio's expectations and attributed the film's success to Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur and the first-time pairing of Washington and Wahlberg.

"It was super casting," she said. "There was remarkable chemistry. The two of them work so well together. You see it on screen. Baltasar really gave them the energy to be able to do what they did in this film."

Fox's (FOX) Japan-set superhero flick The Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman as the clawed warrior, landed in out the No. 2 spot with $21.7 million in its second weekend, bringing the Marvel icon's total domestic haul to $95 million. The Wolverine earned an additional $38.5 million in 67 international territories.

The Smurfs 2 opened in the No. 3 position with $18.2 million. While Sony's (SNE) kid-friendly computer-generated sequel based on the blue-hued cartoon franchise debuted below expectations in North America, The Smurfs 2 earned a bright $52.5 million in 43 international markets.

"It is one of those films that seems to resonate on every continent," said Rory Bruer, Sony's president of worldwide distribution. "We have about 36 big territories to go, including China. They love the blue ones."

The Warner Bros. (TWX) haunted house tale The Conjuring crossed the $100 million mark at No. 4 domestically after exorcising $13.7 million in its third weekend.

Elsewhere at the box office, Sundance Film Festival favorite The Spectacular Now, starring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, earned $190,000 in four theaters in its debut weekend, while The Canyons made just $16,000 at two theaters, though Canyons distributor IFC Films said the erotic thriller starring Lindsay Lohan is performing strongly through video-on-demand services.

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