Disney's Beverly Hills Chihuahua took a $29-million bite out of the box office over the weekend, scampering far ahead of a field of six other new films. Last week's No. 1 movie, Paramount/DreamWorks's Eagle Eye , slid to second place with an estimated $17.7 million. Sony's low-budget Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist , which received better-than-average reviews, also saw better-than-average box-office results as it took in $12 million, about what it cost to make. In its second week, Warner Bros.' Nights in Rodanthe placed fourth with $7.3 million. Several of the other low-budget flicks released over the weekend performed reasonably well. Warner Bros.' Appaloosa , which expanded into wide release, came in at No. 5 with about $5 million. Vivendi Entertainment's political satire An American Carol opened with $3.8 million in 1,639 theaters for ninth place. And Bill Maher's anti-religion documentary Religulous opened in tenth place with $3.5 million, despite playing in just 502 theaters. At the opposite end of the belief spectrum, Fireproof from Samuel Goldwyn Films placed eighth in its second week with $4 million from 852 screens. Several other new films failed to make the top ten. They included Universal's Flash of Genius, which scraped up $2.3 million; Miramax's Blindness , which brought in just $2 million; and MGM's How to Lose Friends and Alienate People , with only $1.4 million from 1,750 theaters. (The film, which stars British comedian Simon Pegg, also opened in the U.K. with $2.1 million from just 449 theaters.) The biggest surprise was the sold-out screenings of Rachel Getting Married in nine theaters in New York and Los Angeles, where the movie averaged $33,659 per theater (compared with $9,020 for Chihuahua ).

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Media by Numbers 1. Beverly Hills Chihuahua , $29 million; 2. Eagle Eye , $17.7 million; 3. N ick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, $12 million; 4. Nights in Rodanthe , $7.4 million; 5. Appaloosa, $5 million; 6. Lakeview Terrace, $4.5 million; 7. Burn After Reading, $4.08 million; 8. Fireproof, $4.07 million; 9. An American Carol, $3.8 million; 10. Religulous, $3.5 million.

06/10/2008