Twentieth Century Fox'shorror thriller Alien Vs Predator opened top at the weekend on anestimated $38.3m, eclipsing opening records for both Fox-owned franchises andmarking the studio's sixth consecutive picture to open on more than $20m.
Sanaa Lathan and Raoul Bovastar in Paul W S Anderson's $60m high-adrenaline tale, which pits the twomonster clans against each other in a remote site in Antarctica.
Alien Vs Predator averaged a decent $11,266 from 3,395 screens butfailed to impress the critics. Alien 3 previously held the Alienfranchise opening record with $19.4m in May 1992, while Predator grossed$12m in its first weekend in June 1987.
Opening in second place on$23m was Buena Vista's family sequel Princess Diaries 2: The RoyalEngagement, about the continued adventures of the young ruler of afictitious European country and her royal grandmother-cum-advisor.
Anne Hathaway and JuliesAndrews reprise their roles from the 2001 original, as does director GarryMarshall. Since Wednesday the picture, which received dire reviews and averaged$6,631 from 3,472 screens, has grossed $37.2m.
The only other new arrivalwas Warner Bros' animated fantasy Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie, a children's cardgame adaptation that opened fourth on $9.4m and averaged $3,882 from 2,411despite being savaged by the critics.
Elsewhere a trio ofthrillers continued to draw the crowds. Dreamworks' Collateral fell twoplaces to third on $16m for $52.4m in its second weekend, Universal's TheBourne Supremacy fell two to fifth on $8.3m for $139.4m in its fourthweekend, and Paramount's The Manchurian Candidate dropped three toseventh on $6 for $47.9m in its third weekend.
Buena Vista's mystery TheVillage will pass $100m any day now after adding $7m in its third weekendfor $99.7m. Columbia's Spider-Man 2 rounds out the top 10 on $3.4mfor $360.9m in its seventh weekend.
Overall the top 12 titlesgrossed $121.8m and fell 8% from the same period last year.
Next weekend's wide releasesinclude Paramount's comedy Without A Paddle starring Seth Green, DaxShepard and Matthew Lillard; and Warner Bros' horror prequel Exorcist: TheBeginning, which stars Stellan Skarsgard and James D'Arcy.
Estimated Top Ten US Aug13-15 2004
Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimatedtotal to date
1 (-) Alien Vs Predator(Fox) Fox International $38.3m -
2 (-) Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement (Buena Vista) BVI $23m$37.2m
3 (1) Collateral (DreamWorks) UIP $16m $52.4m
4 (-) Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie (Warner Bros) Warner Bros Intl $9.4m -
5 (3) The Bourne Supremacy (Universal) UIP $8.3m $139.4m
6 (2) The Village (Buena Vista) BVI $7m $99.7m
7 (4) The Manchurian Candidate (Paramount) UIP $6m $47.9m
8 (5) Little Black Book (Sony) CTFDI $3.7m $14.6m
9 (6) I, Robot (Fox) Fox Intl $3.6m $133.7m
10 (7) Spider-Man 2 (Sony) CTFDI $3.4m $360.9m