Despite mixed reviews from critics, the casino-themed film 21 took $23.7 million over its first weekend after general release in America to earn top spot for the week.
The film from Columbia Pictures tells the story of a team of blackjack players from MIT that travelled to Las Vegas to beat the casinos. Starring Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth and Kevin Spacey, 21 is inspired by Boston author Ben Mezrichâ€™s best-selling book Bringing Down the House and edged out Dr Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!, which had been number one for the previous two weekends.
In the film, the mathematical whizzes target the cityâ€™s most revered casinos and master the skill of card counting in order to calculate the ratio of high cards to low cards in blackjack.
“People are going nuts in Hollywood,” said Mezrich.
“About 3.5 to four million people saw the film this weekend, probably about seven million will have seen it by the end of next week and when the DVD comes out this fall we can expect another 30 million or so people to see it. So almost 40 million people will see it by the end of the year in the US alone.”