Overall ticket sales amounted to $102m compared to $90.8m in the same weekend in 2007. If estimates stand up on Monday the Eagle Eye launch will become the fourth biggest September debut behind Sweet Home Alabama on $35.6m in 2002, Rush Hour on $33m in 1998 and The Exorcism Of Emily Rose on $30.1m in 2005.
The film grossed $1.7m on 85 IMAX screens across North America and produced a record launch for the large-screen format in the September-October corridor. 'This firmly establishes us as a year-round window,' IMAX Filmed Entertainment chairman and president Greg Foster said.
Warner Bros' romance Nights In Rodanthe starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane opened in second place on $13.6m while Samuel Goldwyn Films delivered the surprise of the top 10 as the Christian romance Fireproof opened in fourth place on an excellent $6.5m from just 839 screens. Fireproof, once again showing the strengh of the churchgoing US demographic, stars former TV child star Kirk Cameron who took the lead in the three Left Behind Christian hits.
Spike Lee's near-three-hour World War II epic Miracle At St Anna opened through Buena Vista in ninth place on $3.5m.
Next weekend's wide releases are: Buena Vista's family film Beverly Hills Chihuahua featuring the voices of George Lopez and Drew Barrymore; Lionsgate's documentary Religulous from director Larry Charles; MGM's comedy How To Lose Friends And Alienate People starring Simon Pegg, Jeff Bridges and Kirsten Dunst; Screen Gem's Nick And Norah's Infinite Playlist with Michael Cera and Kat Dennings; and Warner Bros' Appaloosa, a Western the studio inherited from New Line directed by and starring Ed Harris alongside Viggo Mortensen and Renee Zellweger
Estimated Top 10 North America Sept 26-28, 2008
Film (Dist)/Int'l dist/Est wkd gross/Est total to date
1 (-) Eagle Eye (DreamWorks-Paramount) PPI $29.2m -
2 (-) Nights In Rodanthe (Warner Bros) WBPI/Village Roadshow $13.6m -
3 (1) Lakeview Terrace (Sony) SPRI $7m $25.7m
4 (-) Fireproof (Samuel Goldwyn Films) $6.5m -
5 (2) Burn After Reading (Focus Features) FFI $6.2m $45.5m
6 (4) Igor (MGM) TWC $5.5m $14.3m
7 (5) Righteous Kill (Overture Films) Nu Image/Millennium $3.803m $34.8m
8 (3) My Best Friend's Girl (Lionsgate) Mandate Int'l $3.800m $14.5m
9 (-) Miracle At St Anna (Buena Vista) TF1 International $3.5m -
10 (6) Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys (Lionsgate) Mandate Int'l