Scooby-Doo 2: MONSTERS UNLEASHED has leaped to the top of the American box office, after taking in $30.7 million (GBP17 million) on its opening weekend (26-29MAR04).

While the movie, starring Hollywood couple Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr, clinched the top spot easily, its revenue is 43 per cent below the $54.2 million (GBP30.1 million) debut the first SCOOBY-DOO managed in June 2002.

The remake of comedy classic The Ladykillers, starring Tom Hanks, premiered in second place with $13 million (GBP7.2 million).

Jersey Girl, with Ben Affleck as a widower raising a daughter and a cameo by Jennifer Lopez as his wife, debuted at number five with $8.3 million (GBP4.6 million).

The Ladykillers and Jersey Girl each played in fewer than half the number of theatres as Scooby-Doo 2. Playing in 1,583 theatres, the Ladykillers averaged $8,214 (GBP4,563), while Jersey Girl raked in $5,462 (GBP3,304) in 1,520 cinemas.

Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ held solidly at number three with $12.5 million (GBP6.9 million), pushing its total to $315 million (GBP175 million).

The previous weekend's top movie, Dawn of the Dead, tumbled to fourth place with $10.3 million (GBP5.7 million), while DMX's NEVER DIE ALONE debuted disappointingly at number 11 with $3.1 million (GBP1.7 million).

In limited release, Nicole Kidman's DOGVILLE opened well with $90,000 (GBP50,000) at nine theatres in New York City and Los Angeles.

29/03/2004 11:18