Charlie And The Chocolate Factory dominated the weekend with anestimated $55.4m opening as the positive box office reversal continued for thesecond weekend in a row.
Warner Bros' revival of Roald Dahl's children's classic wasapplauded by critics for its dark tone and the Tim Burton-directed filmaveraged $14,689 on 3,770 screens.
Johnny Depp stars as the hermitic chocolate entrepreneur whoinvites five children on a guided tour of his factory. Freddie Highmore, DavidKelly and Helena Bonham Carter also star.
While the opening was solid for an aspiring summer blockbuster, itwas inevitably impacted by the worldwide release of J K Rowling's novel "HarryPotter And The Half-Blood Prince."
Executives did not put a figure on potential revenue losses, andwill not be unduly bothered seeing as the studio owns the Harry Potter film franchise.
Fired up by strong reviews, New Line's R-rated The WeddingCrashers openedabove expectations in second place on $32.2m. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn staras womanisers whose carefree ways are threatened when one of them falls inlove.
Rachel McAdams co-stars in the film which averaged $11,017 on2,925 screens.
TwentiethCentury Fox's Fantastic Four passed$100m in its second weekend as it fell two places to third on $22.7m for$100.1m.
Paramount's War Of The Worlds dropped two to fourth on $15m for$192.2m in its third weekend, while Warner Bros' Batman Begins rounded out the top five on $5.6mfor $182.7m in its fifth.
Overall the top 12 pictures generated a $153m combined box office,a rise of 7.5% compared to the same weekend in 2004.
Next weekend's wide releases include DreamWorks' sci-fi actionepic The Island,starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson; Paramount's family picture BadNews Bears starringBilly Bob Thornton, Greg Kinnear and Marcia Gay Harden; and Lions Gate Films'horror sequel The Devil's Rejects starring Bill Moseley and Sheri Moon.
EstimatedTop Ten US July 15-17 2005
Film(Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimated totalto date
1 (-) Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (Warner Bros) Warner Bros Pictures Int'l $55.4m -
2(-) The Wedding Crashers (NewLine) New Line Intl $32.2m -
3 (1) Fantastic Four (Fox) Fox International $22.7m $100.1m
4 (2) War of the Worlds (Paramount) UIP $15m $192.2m
5 (3) Batman Begins (Warner Bros) Warner Bros International $5.6m $182.7m
6 (5) Mr And Mrs Smith (Fox/Regency) Fox International/Regency/Summit Entertainment$5.1m $168.1m
7 (4) Dark Water (Buena Vista) BVI $4.4m $18.7m
8 (6) Herbie: Fully Loaded (Walt Disney) BVI $3.4m $55.7m
9 (7) Bewitched (Columbia) SPRI $2.4m $56.9m
10 (8) Madagascar (DreamWorks) UIP $2.1m $183.9m