Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed scampered to the top of the US charts with $29.4m at the weekend, averaging a healthy $8,888 from 3,312 sites. Family specialist Raja Gosnell's follow-up to his 2002 original didn't come close to that picture's $54.1m opening weekend, although it didn't open in a lucrative summer slot like its predecessor. Nevertheless SD2 did produce the studio's best March opening of all time.
Buena Vista's The Ladykillers opened in second place on $12.6m for the biggest ever bow for a Coen Brothers picture, which garnered mixed reviews. It was only the 10th biggest bow in a lead role for Tom Hanks who stars as a criminal mastermind who resolves to murder an interfering landlady. The picture averaged $7,981 from 1,583 venues and studio executives will be happy if it grosses as much as the Coens' 2000 release O Brother, Where Art Thou', which finished on $45.5m.
Miramax's romantic comedy Jersey Girl opened fifth on $8.3m, a small victory considering it features Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez and the last picture to do that was Sony's disastrous Gigli, which opened last August on $3.8m and sunk without trace on $6.1m several weeks later. It averaged $5,473 from 1,520 sites, played to a mostly female, date-oriented crowd and will roll out on a further 350 screens on Apr 2 and a further 350-500 the following weekend.
In the limited release arena The Mayor Of Sunset Strip, George Hickenlooper's documentary about music impresario Rodney Bingenheimer, opened through First Look Pictures to strong reviews on $21,722 from seven LA and New York sites.