''XXX'' posts an impressive $46 million win | EW.com

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''XXX'' posts an impressive $46 million win

''XXX'' posts an impressive $46 million win. Vin Diesel's best opening ever proves he may be worth a $20 million-per-film salary

Vin Diesel, XXX

Vin Diesel, you have arrived. The burgeoning action star powered to the top of the box office with ”XXX,” which earned an impressive $46 million, according to studio estimates.

There was no debate as to whether ”XXX” would end up the No. 1 film of the weekend. But the question was exactly how much Diesel, who’s never truly carried a film before, could bring in. Significantly, ”XXX” opened better than last summer’s ”The Fast and the Furious,” the drag-racing flick starring Diesel and Paul Walker that amassed $40.1 in its opening weekend. Finally, we’ve seen why Diesel is now commanding $20 million per picture. Obviously, young moviegoers were positively jazzed by the PG-13 brand of action featured in ”XXX.” Critics certainly weren’t – they eviscerated Diesel and the film.

As expected, Mel Gibson’s crop-circle thriller ”Signs” was pushed back to second place. The not-so-great news: ”Signs” dropped a full 50 percent from its opening last week, to $30 million. Still, when a film premieres with $60.1 million, it’s tough to pull off a small decline. ”Signs”’ 10-day total is still a fantastic $118.3 million.

The big disappointment has to be ”Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams,” which debuted with $17 million over the three-day weekend and earned $25.3 million since opening on Wednesday. It’s only a low figure when compared to the $26.5 million the first ”Spy Kids” grossed in its first weekend last year. This summer has seen several sequels – ”Men in Black II,” ”Stuart Little 2,” and now ”Spy Kids 2” – sell fewer tickets in their opening weekends than their predecessors did, quite a rarity at the box office.

Bucking that trend, of course, has been ”Austin Powers in Goldmember,” which has so far outperformed the first two ”Austin Powers” films. But though ”Goldmember” opened huge, it’s been plummeting in subsequent weeks. This weekend it dropped another 58 percent to $13.1 million, bringing its total $167.8 million. At this rate, it may not end up as the highest-grossing ”Austin” after all.

Rounding out the top five was Clint Eastwood’s new crime drama ”Blood Work,” which only managed a $7.2 million opening. Though that figure tops the $5.6 million debut of his last drama, ”True Crime,” apparently moviegoers just didn’t find the ”Blood Work” concept – Eastwood plays a retired FBI agent tracking a serial killer – at all original. Where are those ”Space Cowboys” when you need them?