Spyglass Entertainment's adaptation of The Hitchhiker's GuideTo The Galaxy opened topof the North American charts through Disney over the weekend on a estimated $21.7m, whileSony/Revolution's XXX: State Of The Union was a crashing disappointment in third place on $13.7m.
Of more significance, however, was the fact that box office fellfor the 10th consecutive weekend as the top 12 titles grossed $84.8m, down 10%against the same period last year.
As the summer season approaches, studio executives are waitingwith bated breath for the first picture to truly galvanise the box office,which is likely to be Star Wars: Episode III on May 19.
It was a solid opening for Hitchhiker's, directed by Garth Jennings and based onDouglas Adams' surreal sci-fi tales. The picture opened to generally strongreviews and averaged $6,928 on 3,133 screens.
Martin Freeman, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel and Sam Rockwell star inthe story of a motley crew of intergalactic adventurers in search of themeaning of life.
Universal's The Interpreter fell one place to second in its second wide weekend on$14.2m for $43.6m, one place ahead of XXX 2, which averaged $3,936 on 3,480 screensand left the critics uninspired.
Ice Cube plays the latest XXX agent in the film, a mantle assumedby Vin Diesel in the 2002 original, who this time must thwart an attempted UScoup. Lee Tamahori directed the picture which also stars Samuel L Jackson,Willem Dafoe and Scott Speedman.
MGM/Dimension's remake of The Amityville Horror passed $50m in its third weekend as itadded $8.1m for $55.1m and fell two places to fourth, while Paramount'sadventure Saharaslipped two to fifth on $6m for $57.2m after four weekends.
Sony Pictures Classics' Kung Fu Hustle added $3.8m for $13.2m in its second wideweekend and fell two to seventh, as Touchstone's romance A Lot Like Love dipped two places to sixth for $14.7m inits second weekend.
Next weekend's wide releases are: Twentieth Century Fox's KingdomOf Heaven starringOrlando Bloom, Liam Neeson and Eva Green; Lions Gate's Crash, starring Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadleand Matt Dillon; and Warner Bros' House Of Wax, which stars Elisha Cuthbert, ChadMichael Murray and Paris Hilton.
Estimated Top Ten US Apr 29-May 1 2005
Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekendgross/Estimated total to date
1 (-) The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (Buena Vista) Spyglass/BVI $21.7m -
2 (1) The Interpreter (Universal) UIP $14.2m $43.6m
3 (-) XXX: The Next Level (Sony/Revolution) SPRI/Revolution $13.7m -
4 (2) The Amityville Horror (MGM/Dimension) Fox International/BVI $8.1m $55.1m
5(3) Sahara (Paramount) SummitEntertainment $6m $57.2m
6 (4) A Lot Like Love (Touchstone) Summit/BVI $5.2m $14.7m
7 (5) Kung Fu Hustle (Sony Pictures Classics) SPRI $3.8m $13.2m
8 (6) Fever Pitch (Fox) Fox Int'l $3.8m $36.5m
9 (9) Robots (Fox) Fox International $2.7m $123.7m
10 (8) GuessWho (Columbia)SPRI/Regency $2.2m $65.5m