<i>Hitman</i> movie scores $21M

Eidos-inspired action film sees decent US debut after coming under heavy fire from critics.

From the outset, gamers had their doubts about the film adaptation of Eidos Interactive's Hitman series. Those worries only amplified once Deadwood star Timothy Olyphant was cast in the lead and largely untested helmer Xavier Gens sat down in the director's chair. Finally, even the most optimistic fans' faith was tested when Gens was reportedly yanked from the project by studio bosses.

However, like the titular assassin, Hitman proved pretty much unstoppable. Despite being pistol-whipped by most critics--although Roger " Games Are Not Art" Ebert quite enjoyed it--the film took in an estimated $21 million over the Thanksgiving weekend, according to Variety.

Despite the extended holiday, Hitman's haul was bested by the $23.6 million opening of another recent game-to-film project, Resident Evil: Extinction. However, the film's take was impressive considering its competition--Disney's heavily hyped fantasy Enchanted ($50 million), surprise family-film hit This Christmas ($27 million), and 3D CGI blockbuster Beowulf ($23.3 million).

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