Sony registered its 12th number one release of the year as horrorsequel The Grudge 2 launchedon an estimated $22m.
The supernatural tale of a rage-inducing curse stars AmberTamblyn and features a cameo by the original's leading lady Sarah MichelleGellar.
Overall box office annihilated the same weekend last year,rising 41% as the top 12 titles took $100.8m.
Last weekend's champion The Departed fell to second place on $18m for anexcellent $56.6m running total.
The crime drama looks likely to overtake The Aviator's $102.6m final gross to become MartinScorsese's biggest ever domestic release.
Universal's comedy Man Of The Year starring Robin Williams as a politicalcomedian who becomes President opened in third place on $12.6m. Barry Levinsondirected and Laura Linney also stars.
Fox's action picture The Marine starring wrestling giant John Cenaopened in sixth place on $7m, while Gener8Xion Entertainment's Biblical drama OneNight With The Kinglaunched in ninth place on $4.3m.
Warner Independent Pictures' Truman Capote tale Infamous failed to carve a niche for itself inthe market place despite some strong reviews, opening outside the top 10 on$435,000 from 179 theatres.
Next weekend's wide releases are: Buena Vista's mystery ThePrestige starring HughJackman and Christian Bale; Fox's family drama Flicka starring Alison Lohman, Maria Bello andTim McGraw; Paramount's wartime saga Flags Of Our Fathers starring Ryan Phillippe, Jesse Bradfordand Adam Beach; and Sony's biopic Marie Antoinette, which stars Kirsten Dunst and JasonSchwartzman.
Estimated Top Ten North America Oct 13-15, 2006
Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekendgross/Estimated total to date
1 (-) The Grudge 2 (Sony) Sony/Mandate $22m -
2 (1) The Departed (Warner Bros) WBPI/Initial $18m $56.6m
3 (-) Man Of The Year (Universal) UIP/Morgan Creek $12.6m -
4(3) Open Season (Sony) SPRI $11m$59.2m
5 (2) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (New Line) NLI $7.8m $30.5m
6 (-) The Marine (Fox) Fox Int'l $7m -
7 (5) The Guardian (Buena Vista) BVI/Summit $5.9m $41.1m
8 (4) Employee Of The Month (Lionsgate) Lionsgate $5.6m $19.9m
9 (-) One Night With The King (Gener8Xion Entertainment) $4.3m -
10 (6) Jackass:Number Two (Paramount)UIP $3.3m $68.4m