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Box office withers under 'Chappie,' 'Unfinished Business'

Also in Tattle: Bandit woos Flying Nun, Orchestra gooses attendance, Emma Watsontalks about me and more

MOVIEGOERS and celebrity wrongdoers seemed to take the weekend off.

Misdeeds were even more nonexistent than the box office.

Neill Blomkamp's R-rated "Chappie" might have taken the No. 1 spot in its 3,201-theater debut, but its modest $13.3 million gross was a career low for Blomkamp, whose previous films, "Elysium" and "District 9," debuted at $29.8 million and $37.4 million, respectively.

The R-rated Vince Vaughn comedy "Unfinished Business" fared even worse, opening at No. 10 to a dismal $4.8 million. The $35 million film, about a chaotic European business trip, also stars Dave Franco and Tom Wilkinson.

In its second weekend in theaters, Will Smith's "Focus" fell an estimated 46 percent to take second place with $10 million, bringing its domestic total to $34.6 million.

"These are not exactly world-class numbers," said Paul Dergarabedian, Rentrak's senior media analyst. "This is two weekends in a row where we've seen original R-rated movies just not resonate with audiences."

One bright spot was "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," opening in third place with a strong $8.6 million from 1,573 locations.

"It's one of the very rare instances of an indie sequel," Dergarabedian said. "You normally don't see that.

"This is the proverbial calm before the storm," he added. "We're still on track for a massive, record-breaking year. But there are going to be a lot of casualties along the way, and we're seeing that right now."

Oh, please, not another storm.

Burt and Sally redux?

The National Enquirer is reporting (so you know it has to be true) that long-ago lovebirds Burt Reynolds, 79, and Sally Field, 68, have rekindled their romance and Burt may soon get down on one arthritic knee to propose.

"It would be a fairy tale," an unnamed source said.

"Maybe for Burt and Sally, there is such a thing as a second chance at love."

Busy orchestra weekend

Favorite guest pianist Emanuel Ax came to town last week to play a Beethoven concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra, plus a chamber concert with orchestra musicians Friday night.

Tom Di Nardo reports that snow hampered musicians getting in Thursday night, but enough came to play the concerto and hear Ax and music director Yannick Nezet-Seguin play an impromptu Ravel's "Mother Goose" suite for two pianists in place of the symphony.

When the 650-seat Perelman Theater was found to be accidentally double-booked, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society was offered the empty 2,500-seat Verizon Hall for its Friday-night program.

Through word of mouth, the chamber concert with Ax drew an astounding 1,900 patrons, an additional 1,250 tickets.

At Saturday night's concert, concertmaster David Kim led the musicians and the audience in "Happy Birthday" to Nezet-Seguin, celebrating his 40th.

Men stand up for women

Emma Watson (Hermione in the Harry Potter films) spoke out on International Women's Day yesterday and urged more men and boys to take a stand for women's rights and be proud to be feminists.

Watson, 24, is a goodwill ambassador for U.N. Women and a spokeswoman for the HeForShe campaign that was launched last year to inspire the male gender to fight for gender equality.

"There has been a groundswell of support but we need more men to take a stand," Watson said in a Facebook discussion. "Men often think that feminism is a women's word . . . but if you stand for gender equality, you are a feminist."

So far, about 240,000 men have pledged their commitment, but their goal is to mobilize 1 billion men, so they're just a few short.

TATTBIT reports that Freddie Highmore ("Bates Motel") would love to take over the web-slinging from Andrew Garfield when Sony reboots its Spider-Man franchise yet again. Guess this means a child born at the start of this century could see the Spider-Man franchise rebooted eight to ten times in his or her lifetime. How many times must Aunt May live through Uncle Ben's murder? And will we get to a point when Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst return as Ben and May? - Daily News wire services contributed to this report.