As Italy braces itself for the release of The Passion Of The Christ on April 7, five new films opened at the box office last weekend, although none of them garnered a warm reception during what turned out to be a particularly lukewarm weekend.

Columbia Tristar's Peter Pan opened at number 4 on 251 screens, but earned only $637,006 for a disappointing screen average of $2,538. UIP's School Of Rock also opened timidly in eighth place, grossing just $305,667 from 144 screens.

The weekend also welcomed new Italian films from Marco Ponti, the director behind 2001's sleeper hit Santa Maradona, and cult auteur Mario Martone.

However, neither film opened strongly. Ponti's A/R Andata e Ritorno, a thriller starring Santa Maradona's Libero Di Rienzo and popular Spanish-Italian TV host Vanessa Incontrada, earned $441,834 from 197 screens for 01 Distribution, for a screen average of $2,243, which placed it sixth at the box office.

Martone's The Smell Of Blood, which is based on a posthumous novel by Goffredo Parise about a 50-year-old writer (Michele Placido) and his relationship with his ex-wife (Fanny Ardant) and his lover, grossed $132,960 for distributor Mikado, for a screen average of $2,770.

Meanwhile, The Crimson Rivers 2: Angels Of The Apocalypse 's earnings tumbled almost 50% on its second weekend, though tellingly, the film still remained at the top of the box office. Released on 344 screens, Filmauro's thriller grossed an extra $952,393, which brings its total earnings to $ 3,347,419.

Sergio Castellitto's Spanish-Italian hit Don't Move also saw its earnings fall 44% on its fourth weekend. Still at number two, the Medusa picture earned an extra $746,424, bringing its overall gross to a huge $7, 542,355.