Comedies continued to drawin the crowds over the weekend as Universal's R-rated The 40-Year-Old Virgin opened at number one on an estimated $20.6m.
Launching in second placewas DreamWorks' thriller Red Eyeon $16.5m, while the British CG-animated family adventure Valiant opened through Disney in seventh place on adisappointing $6.1m. Fox's action romp Supercross flopped outside the top 10 on $1.3m.
Overall there was littlechange in the box office landscape, as, yet again, the weekend trailed thecomparable period from last year. The top 12 pictures combined for $98.8m, down3% against the same weekend in 2004.
The table-topping debut of The40-Year-Old Virgin proves SteveCarell, a Saturday Night Livealumnus and longtime comedy support to Will Ferrell, can carry a picture.
The critics generally likedthe story of an affable nerd who finally gets the chance to lose his virginity,and the picture averaged a strong $7,224 on 2,845 screens. Catherine Keener andPaul Rudd also star and Judd Apatow, who produced Ferrell vehicles Anchormanand Kicking And Screaming, directed.
Wes Craven's firstnon-horror thriller Red Eye alsoreceived strong reviews. It stars the ubiquitous Rachel McAdams as a planepassenger who is blackmailed by the man sitting next to her (played by CillianMurphy) to help in an assassination plot. The picture averaged $5,358 on 3,079screens.
McAdams also stars in NewLine's Wedding Crashers, whichstayed in fourth place and has amassed $177.9m after six weekends; she willnext be seen in Fox's romantic comedy The Family Stone in November.
Valiant earned so-so reviews and averaged $3,023 on 2,014.The film, which has already opened in the UK through Entertainment FilmDistributors, follows the exploits of a plucky carrier pigeon sent on a topsecret second world war mission. Ewan McGregor and Ricky Gervais provide voicetalent and Gary Chapman directed.
Last weekend's champion FourBrothers slipped two places to thirdon $13m for a $43.6m total, and Universal's Southern Gothic mystery SkeletonKey fell three to fifth on $7.4m for$30.1m.
WiP's documentary Marchof The Penguins continued itsstorming run by climbing one place to sixth and should pass $50m this weekafter adding $6.7m for $48.6m after nine weekends.
Warner Bros' Charlie AndThe Chocolate Factory should pass$200m in the next week or so after adding $4.5m for $192.7m; it slpped three toninth in its sixth weekend.
Next weekend's wide releasesare Dimension's long-awaited fantasy adventure The Brothers Grimm starring Matt Damon and Heath Ledger; Screen Gems'horror picture The Cave, whichstars Morris Chestnut and Eddie Cibrian and Lions Gate's romantic comedy Undiscovered starring Pell James and Ashlee Simpson.
Estimated Top Ten US Aug19-21 2005
Film(Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimatedtotal to date
1 (-) The 40-Year-OldVirgin (Universal) UIP $20.6m -
2 (-) Red Eye (DreamWorks) UIP $16.5m -
3 (1) Four Brothers (Paramount) UIP $13m $43.6m
4 (4) Wedding Crashers (New Line) New Line Int'l $8.3m $177.9m
5 (2) Skeleton Key (Universal) UIP $7.4m $30.1m
6 (7) March Of ThePenguins (Warner IndependentPictures) Wild Bunch $6.7m $48.6m
7 (-) Valiant (Buena Vista) Odyssey Entertainment $6.1m -
8 (3) The Dukes OfHazzard (Warner Bros) Warner BrosPictures Int'l $5.7m $68.8m
9 (6) Charlie And TheChocolate Factory (Warner Bros)Warner Bros Pictures Int'l $4.5m $192.7m
10 (8) Sky High (Buena Vista) BVI $4m $50.8m