Demonstrating yet again that there's nothing so reliable as a cheap horror flick to turn a quick profit at the box office, Sony Screen Gems' Underworld: Evolution debuted in first place over the weekend with a higher-than-expected $27.6 million. (The film, which was not screened for critics, got royally trounced by them after it opened. Jeannette Catsoulis in the New York Times commented, "Maybe one day, Hollywood will figure out that pouring acting-challenged starlets into black neoprene and sticking them in front of a blue screen do not a movie make.") Hoodwinked, the Weinstein Co.'s animated spoof of the Little Red Riding Hood tale remained in second place with $11 million, while last week's winner, Glory Road, fell to third place with $9.14 million. Paramount's Last Holiday dropped to fourth place with $9.1 million. But once again the real sensation was Focus Features' Brokeback Mountain, which nearly doubled the number of theaters in its seventh week and saw its ticket sales rise by more than a third to $7.83 million. Besides Underworld, the only other new film to make the top ten was End of the Spear, promoted by Christian groups. It took in an estimated $4.7 million, good enough for eighth place. But Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World found few lookers as it grossed $455,000 at 161 theaters.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:
1. Underworld: Evolution, Sony, $27.6 million; 2. Hoodwinked, Weinstein Co., $11 million; 3. Glory Road, Disney, $9.1 million; 4. Last Holiday, Paramount, $9.1 million; 5. Brokeback Mountain, Focus, $7.8 million; 6. Fun With Dick and Jane, Sony, $6.1 million; 7. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Disney, $6 million; 8. Hostel, Lions Gate, $4.3 million; 9. The New World, New Line, $4.2 million; 10. End of the Spear, Rocky Mountain, $4.2 million.




23/01/2006