The Scorpion King held its sting and top place in the domestic charts with weekend takings of $17.6m, according to studio estimates released today. Universal's spin-off from The Mummy stars The Rock in his first action lead and has taken $60.8m in its first ten days.
Total weekend grosses rose for the 11th week running to $69.8m for the top 12 titles, a 27% leap from the same period last year. So far this year domestic revenues are around 15% higher than last year, when Hollywood recorded a record yearly total of $8.4bn.
With no real threat from this weekend's new releases, The Scorpion King rules the roost for the second weekend running and is expected to pass the $100m for the studio. The picture averaged a healthy $5,103 from 3,449 theatres. However its spot in the limelight looks likely to end next weekend with the release of the eagerly awaited Spider-Man, which officially kicks off the summer season.
Changing Lanes, the Ben Affleck/Samuel L Jackson road rage drama, clung to second place for the second weekend in a row with $9m. The Paramount movie has a 17-day total of $44.6 million.
Of the new releases 20th Century Fox's romantic comedy Life Or Something Like It starring Angelina Jolie and Ed Burns fared best, opening in third with a disappointing $6.65m. Jolie plays a hard-nosed journalist whose life changes when a clairvoyant tells her she is going to die. The movie played in 2,606 theatres with a lacklustre site average of $2,552 but scored well among female audiences questioned after the show.
Meanwhile Jason X, the latest instalment of the Friday The 13th franchise that sees a masked Jason wreak havoc in outer space, slashed its way into fourth place for New Line on $6.5m. It averaged $3,461 from 1,878 venues and is not expected to last long in the top ten since horror movie attendance typically dies off after the die-hard horror fans have turned out on opening weekend.
Columbia's Panic Room, directed by David Fincher and starring Jodie Foster, dropped to eighth place but continued to march towards the $100m mark with weekend takings of $4.2m, bringing its running total to $87.7m.
The Val Kilmer thriller The Salton Sea recorded an impressive limited release opening for Warner Brothers with $175,000 - an average of $11,667 from 15 venues. Kilmer plays a jazz musician who goes undercover to find his wife's killers. The skateboarding documentary Dogtown and Z-Boyz which charts the rise of the Venice-based Zephyr skaters and has received decent reviews, opened in 20 theatres with $111,170, a site average of $5,559.
Next week, in addition to Columbia's Spider-Man starring Tobey Maguire as the web-spinning superhero, new openers are Woody Allen's Hollywood Ending from DreamWorks and the 1950s gang drama Deuces Wild, starring Stephen Dorff and Brad Renfro from United Artists.
ESTIMATED TOP TEN US APRIL 26-28
Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend
gross/Estimated total to date
1 (1) The Scorpion King (Universal) $17.6m $60.8m
2 (2) Changing Lanes (Paramount) UIP/Mutual $9m $44.6m
3 (-) Life Or Something Like It (20th Century Fox) $6.65m --
4 (-) Jason X (New Line) New Line International $6.5m --
5 (3) Murder by Numbers (Warner Brothers) Warner Bros $6.3m $18.3m
6 (4) The Rookie (Buena Vista) BVI $5.4 million $60.6m
7 (6) Ice Age (20th Century Fox) Fox International $4.6 m $165.4m
8 (5) Panic Room (Columbia) Columbia TriStar $4.2 m $87.7m
9 (8) High Crimes (20th Century Fox) Fox International $3m $35m
10 (7) The Sweetest Thing (Columbia) Columbia TriStar $2.9 m $21.2m