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'Shutter Island' earns No. 1 spot at weekend box office

Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio's voyage to "Shutter Island" has landed them at No. 1 at the weekend box office, The Associated Press reports.

Their creepy crime thriller set at a remote insane asylum opened with $40.2 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. A Paramount Pictures release, "Shutter Island" is the fourth collaboration for Scorsese and DiCaprio and the best opening yet for both the director and star.

Scorsese's previous personal best was $26.9 million with his 2006 Academy Awards champ "The Departed," which also starred DiCaprio. The biggest previous debut for DiCaprio was $30.1 million for 2002's "Catch Me If You Can." Along with "The Departed," DiCaprio and Scorsese also worked together on "Gangs of New York" and "The Aviator," both of them earning best-picture nominations at the Oscars.

Roman Polanski's thriller "The Ghost Writer" got off to a big start in limited release, pulling in $179,000 at four theaters in New York City and Los Angeles for a whopping average of $44,750 a cinema. That compares to a $13,440 average in 2,991 theaters for "Shutter Island." The film likely benefited from months of press coverage over Polanski's arrest in Switzerland last fall and his possible extradition to the United States, which he fled in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.

The previous weekend's top movie, the all-star romance "Valentine's Day," slipped to No. 2 with $17.2 million, falling a steep 69 percent from its $56.3 million debut. The Warner Bros. release raised its total to $87.4 million after 10 days in theaters.

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