Two US films new to cinemaslead the box office on the weekend and both would have got a boost because oftheir links to Australia.

The Aviator, starring the homegrown Cate Blanchett, tookA$1,830,974 from 248 screens for Roadshow, and Hide And Seek, directedby the homegrown John Polson, took A$1,652,264 from 205 screens for 20thCentury Fox. The latter had the highest screen average on the chart at A$8,060.

Million Dollar Baby from Roadshow was in third place in its secondweekend in cinemas, and Meet The Fockers, which UIP released eight weeksago, was fourth. Rounding out the top five was Closer, which had been inthe top spot for the previous two weeks. The depth of the fall from the SonyPictures film didn't look so bad in comparison to another recent release: SeedOf Chucky from UIP, fell 67% in only its second week on screens.

The two other films thatopened on the weekend and made it into the chart were Cellular, whichgrossed A$409,834 from 113 screens for Roadshow to claim seventh spot, and VeraDrake, which appeared in the eighteenth position after selling A$89,197worth of tickets to only 19 screens for Dendy.

The fifth new face was onlyon previews and it was House Of Flying Daggers. It grossed A$186,566from 107 screens for UIP and just scraped into the top 10. This film has alsobeen able to leverage some extra attention due to its local elements. All thepost-production was done in Sydney and the company involved, Animal Logic, ismaking as much fuss as it can.