Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures’ crime drama The Town directed by and starring Ben Affleck opened top on an estimated $23.8m.

Four of the top five films were new releases, the next best being Screen gems’ high school rom-com Easy A starring Emma Stone. Devil, MRC’s horror tale from a story idea by M Night Shyamalan, opened through Universal in third place on $12.6m.

Last weekend’s champion Resident Evil: Afterlife remained the top overseas film while in North America it fell three places on $10.1m for $43.9m after ten days. The global tally is close to $150m.

In limited release, Relativity-owned Rogue release the documentary Catfish on an excellent $225,000 from 12 and Fox Searchlight launched Never Let Me Go on $121,000 from four for a terrific $30.250 average.

Overture, which Relativity recently acquired, released Philip Seymour Hoffman’s drama Jack Goes Boating in four venues and reported a $30,000 opening weekend.

Next weekend’s wide releases are Zack Snyder’s animation Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole through Warner Bros; Sony’s documentary The Virginity Hit; Fox’s thriller Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; and Buena Vista’s comedy You Again. Lionsgate launches Buried in ten theatres.

Estimated Top 10 North America September 17-19, 2010

Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date

1 (-) The Town (Warner Bros) WBPI $23.8m –

2 (-) Easy A (Screen Gems) SPRI $18.2m –

3 (-) Devil (Universal) FilmNation $12.6m –

4 (1) Resident Evil: Afterlife (3D) Sony (SPRI) $10.1m $43.9m

5 (-) Alpha And Omega (Lionsgate) Lionsgate $9.2m –

6 (2) Takers (Screen Gems) SPRI $3m $52.3m

7 (3) The American (Focus Features) FFI $2.8m $32.9m

8 (10) Inception (Warner Bros) WBPI $2m $285.2m

9 (6) The Other Guys (Sony) SPRI $2m $115.4m

10 (4) Machete (Fox) Hyde Park International $1.7m $24.3m