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Last updated: March 24. 2013 11:29PM - 720 Views

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LOS ANGELES — The animated caveman tale “The Croods” may have hunted down the competition this past weekend, but it still couldn’t light a fire under the box office.


The 3-D family film took No. 1, grossing a solid $44.7 million, according to an estimate from distributor 20th Century Fox. Despite a respectable start, the DreamWorks Animation picture and the weekend’s three other new releases were unable to lift overall ticket sales.


The 2013 slump continued, as receipts are down 13 percent compared with last year, and attendance is off 14 percent, according to Hollywood.com. The combined gross of all of this weekend’s releases — $139.5 million — doesn’t even add up to the $152.5 million opening gross of “The Hunger Games,” which launched a year ago.


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