A strong rally by theover-35 crowd powered Universal's The Interpreter to the top of the North American charts at theweekend on an estimated $22.8m, while Touchstone's A Lot Like Love opened fourth on a disappointing $7.7m.
Meanwhile Sony PicturesClassics' martial arts romp Kung Fu Hustle demonstrated its box office chops in its first wide weekend, climbing16 places to fifth on $7.3m for an $8m running total. New Line's caper movie King'sRansom flopped in 10th place on$2.3m.
In The Interpreter, Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn team up to foil anassassination plot. The UN-set thriller was directed by Sydney Pollack andopened to mostly good reviews, averaging $8,270 on 2,758 screens.
Exit polls revealed thatcinemagoers aged 35 and over accounted for 60% of the picture's weekend gross.
A Lot Like Love stars Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet as star-crossedlovers who meet and fall in love, only to separate and eventually hook upagain. Nigel Cole's film produced by Beacon Pictures drew mixed reviews; it averaged $3,094 on 2,502.
In Kung Fu Hustle, directed by and starring Stephen Chow, an aspiringgangster inadvertently starts a riot in 1940s China, leading to numerousdazzling fight sequences.
The picture opened two weeksago on seven screens in Los Angeles and New York and expanded this weekend toapproximately 3,000 screens in 2,500 theatres.
Last weekend's champion,MGM/Dimension's The Amityville Horror remake, slipped to second place on $14.2m for a $43.8m running totalafter two weekends. Paramount's adventure Sahara fell one to third on $9m, standing at $48.9m afterthree weekends.
New Line's poorly reviewedcaper comedy King's Ransom starringAnthony Anderson opened in 10th place on $2.3m, averaging $1,508 on 1,508screens.
Magnolia Pictures'documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Alex Gibney's account of one of the most outrageouscorporate scandals in American business history, opened well on $70,000 inthree theatres.
Overall it was a lacklustreweekend, down against the same period last year for the ninth consecutiveweekend, as the top 12 titles grossed $83.4m.
Next weekend's wide releasesinclude Sony/Revolution's XXX: State Of The Union starring Ice Cube, Samuel L Jackson, Willem Dafoe,and Scott Speedman; and Buena Vista's TheHitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy,which stars Martin Freeman, Zooey Deschanel, Mos Def and Sam Rockwell.
Estimated Top Ten US Apr22-24 2005
Film(Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend
gross/Estimated total todate
1 (-)The Interpreter (Universal) UIP$22.8m -
2 (1) The AmityvilleHorror (MGM/Dimension) FoxInternational/BVI $14.2m $43.8m
3 (2) Sahara (Paramount) Summit Entertainment $9m $48.9m
4 (-) A Lot Like Love (Touchstone) Summit/BVI $7.7m -
5 (21) Kung Fu Hustle (Sony Pictures Classics) SPRI $7.3m $8m
6 (3) Fever Pitch (Fox) Fox Int'l $5.5m $31.5m
7 (4) Sin City (Dimension) Miramax Intl $3.7m $67.3m
8 (5) Guess Who (Columbia) SPRI/Regency $3.5m $62.4m
9 (7) Robots (Fox) Fox International $3.3m $120.2m
10 (-) King's Ransom (New Line) NLI $2.3m -