'Disturbia' cashes in on 'Spider'-less b.o. weekend

Frame lackluster; market braces for tentpoles

The North American boxoffice looked lethargic once again this past weekend — no film crossed the $10 million mark — but this spring's mini-drought is sure to be short-lived because a boxoffice monsoon in the form of Sony Pictures' "Spider-Man 3" is set to be released Friday.

In the meantime, Paramount Pictures' release of the teen thriller "Disturbia," from DreamWorks and Montecito Pictures, enjoyed a bonus third week atop the boxoffice charts. Falling 31% from the previous weekend, it pulled in an additional $9 million, bringing its domestic boxoffice tally to $52.1 million. That proved strong enough to keep all of the weekend's newcomers at bay.

The weekend as a whole added up to something of a bust. The 118 films tracked by The Hollywood Reporter grossed a collective $77.7 million, down 24% from the $102.1 million collected during the comparable weekend last year when Sony Pictures' comedy "RV" led the chart with a $16.4 million opening.

Buena Vista's entry in the teen thriller sweepstakes, "The Invisible," director David S. Goyer's venture into the supernatural, put up the best fight. Playing in 2,019 theaters, it mustered up a per-theater average of $3,822 as it captured $7.7 million. The PG-13 film attracted younger females and earned a score of B for its efforts.

"Next," Paramount's release of a Revolution Studios sci-fi thriller starring Nicolas Cage, appealed more to older males — but not many of them showed up. The PG-13 film, directed by Lee Tamahori ("Die Another Day"), debuted in third place in 2,725 theaters. Its weekend take of $7.1 million resulted in a per-theater average of $2,618. But it didn't trigger much enthusiasm, earning a CinemaScore grade of B-.

Still, that was better than the C+ awarded to Lionsgate's "The Condemned," an action programmer in which wrestling's "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is cast as a prisoner forced to fight for his life against nine other inmates thrown together on a tropical island. The R-rated film, directed by Scott Wiper ("A Better Way to Die"), bowed in ninth place with $3.8 million — its per-theater average from 2,310 theaters amounted to just $1,648.

The Yari Film Group's "Kickin' It Old Skool," starring Jamie Kennedy as an '80s rapper trying to make sense of the modern world, didn't make it into the top 10. The PG-13 comedy entered the list in 12th position, with an anemic $2.5 million from 1,816 theaters.

"Hot Fuzz," the cop comedy from Focus Features' Rogue label, displayed one of the few signs of life among the weekend performers. As the movie from the creative team behind "Shaun of the Dead" entered its second weekend, it picked up an additional 447 theaters to bring its theater count to 1,272. Hanging on to sixth place for the second week in a row, it grossed $4.9 million, bringing its domestic tally to $12.6 million.

Among the other sophomore entries, New Line Cinema's legal thriller "Fracture" fell by 38%, taking in $6.8 million so that its cume rose to $21.1 million, while Sony's horror film "Vacancy," from its Screen Gems unit, fell by 46% as it grossed $4.1 million, raising its cume to $13.8 million.

Among the limited and exclusive openings, Magnolia Pictures' "Diggers," a coming-of-age story set among Long Island clam diggers and directed by Katherine Dieckmann, grossed $32,867 in 17 theaters for a per-screen average of $1,933.

Sony Pictures Classics launched "Jindabyne," director Ray Lawrence's adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story, "So Much Water So Close to Home," in six theaters, where it was greeted by $28,298 and a per-screen average of $4,716.

Thinkfilm tested the waters with Robinson Devor's documentary "Zoo," an account of a Seattle man who died after having sex with a horse, which attracted $7,811 in one theater in Manhattan.
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