A $24.4m estimated openingfor DreamWorks-Paramount's thriller Collateral produced the second lowest number one debut of thesummer, as overall box office for the top 12 titles fell to $97.7m - the lowestamount since the first weekend of May.
Despite a high profile starin Tom Cruise - playing a redoubtable villain, to boot - the cerebral tone ofdirector Michael Mann informed the result as much as anything else.
It was a career-best openingfor the director though, whose previous high-water mark had been $14.7m for Ali in 2001.
Cruise plays an assassin whoorders a taxi driver, played by Jamie Foxx, to drive him around Los Angeles inorder to carry out a series of hits. Jada Pinkett-Smith also stars in the $65mpicture, which drew strong reviews and averaged $7,653 from 3,188 screens.
The lowest number oneopening of the summer to date has been Fahrenheit 9/11, which opened on $23.9m over the weekend of Jun25-27.
Under the shadow of poorword of mouth Buena Vista's mystery The Village fell a massive 67% to second place on $16.6m for$85.7m in its second weekend, while Universal's thriller The BourneSupremacy slipped one to third on$14.1m for an excellent $124.3m in its third weekend.
Paramount's politicalthriller The Manchurian Candidatemoved down one to fourth on $10.8m for $38.5m in its second weekend, whileSony's romantic comedy Little Black Book opened poorly in fifth on $7m.
Brittany Murphy stars as aTV producer who noses around inside her boyfriend's address book. Holly Hunterand Ron Livingston also star in the picture, which elicited poor reviews andaveraged $2,862 from 2,445 screens.
Elsewhere, 20th CenturyFox's sci-fi thriller I, Robotfell two to sixth in its fourth weekend on $6.3m for $126.7m, while Sony's Spider-Man2 dipped two to seventh on $5.5m fora $354.6m running total in its sixth weekend.
New Line's stoner comedy Harold& Kumar Go To White Castlestruggled in its second weekend, adding $3.2m for $12.3m after slipping oneplace to eighth.
Meanwhile on limitedrelease, Lions Gate's shark chiller Open Water opened to a promising $1.03m on just 47 screens in19 major markets for a $22,021 per screen average. The film expands onto some2,000 screens on Aug 20, but the independent is hoping to build word of mouthwith two weeks of limited release, a pattern which The Blair Witch Project successfully followed for Artisan in 1999. The filmgrossed an estimated $342,000 on Friday and rose to $384,000 on Saturday beforedipping again to $309,000 on Sunday.
Next weekend's wide releasesinclude 20th Century Fox's action thriller Alien Vs Predator starring Sanaa Lathan and Raoul Bova; Buena Vista'sfamily sequel The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews; and WarnerBros' animated feature Yu-Gi-Oh,which boasts the vocal talents of Dan Green and Eric Stuart.
Estimated Top Ten US Aug 6-82004
Film(Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimatedtotal to date
1 (-) Collateral (DreamWorks) Paramount/UIP $24.4m -
2 (1) The Village (Buena Vista) BVI $16.6m $85.7m
3 (2) The BourneSupremacy (Universal) UIP $14.1m$124.3m
4 (3) The ManchurianCandidate (Paramount) UIP $10.8m$38.5m
5 (-) Little Black Book (Sony) CTFDI $7m -
6 (4) I, Robot (Fox) Fox Intl $6.3m $126.7m
7 (5) Spider-Man 2 (Sony) CTFDI $5.5m $354.6m
8 (7) Harold & KumarGo To White Castle (New Line) NLI$3.2m $12.3m
9 (8) A Cinderella Story (Warner Bros) Warner Bros Intl $3m $47.1m
10 (6) Catwoman (Warner Bros) Warner Bros $2.9m $36.1m