Poseidon failed to knock Mission:Impossible III off the top of the North American box office chart thisweekend, as Paramount's Tom Cruise sequel grossed an estimated $24.5m and theWarner disaster movie managed a mediocre $20.3m.

M:I:III's gross was down an acceptable 49%from last weekend's less than stellar opening figure of $47.7m. Poseidon'stake, meanwhile, was towards the bottom of the expected range, and figures fromthe weekend's other new releases were no more impressive.

Put together, the lackluster performances ended a sevenweek run of improved 2006 box office: overall, the top ten films grossed nearly15% less than the top ten for the same weekend in 2005.

Holding on to more than 4,000 North Americantheatres, M:I:III averaged $6,039 a screen in its second weekend. Its49% drop-off was a slight improvement on the 53% second-weekend fall recordedby predecessor Mission: Impossible 2 in 2000 (though that franchiseinstallment started with $57.8m).

Poseidon -- produced by Warner with VirtualStudios on a reported budget of more than $150m -- averaged $5,717 from 3,555theatres. Directed by Wolfgang Petersen, with Kurt Russell and Josh Lucasstarring, the effects-heavy disaster picture (based on the same material as1972's The Poseidon Adventure) had not been tracking as well as hopedand drew mixed to negative reviews.

Fox's Just My Luck, a romantic comedystarring Lindsay Lohan and directed by Donald Petrie, opened in 2,541 theatresas counter-programming to both M:I:III and Poseidon. Poorlyreviewed and apparently struggling to crossover from Lohan's core teenaudience, the film grossed $5.5m, for a per-screen average of $2,165 and fourthplace on the chart.

The weekend's other new wide release, Buena Vista'sGoal! The Dream Begins, opened in 1,007 theatres, targeting US soccer hotspots and hoping to cash in on pre-World Cup interest in the game. But thefootball drama, directed by Danny Cannon and starring Kuno Becker as a youngMexican-American who goes to play in Europe, grossed only just over $2m (for aper-screen average of $1,989) and ended up outside the top ten in twelfthspot.

Some of the weekend's holdovers, meanwhile, showedstrong legs.

Sony's RV came in third, dropping less than14% in its third week to a gross of $9.5m, for a $2,687 average and a $42.8mrunning total.

Freestyle's An American Haunting came infifth in its second week, dropping 36% to a gross of $3.7m (average $2,173) anda total of $10.9m.

And Universal's United 93 came sixth in its thirdweek after sliding 33% to $3.6m (average $1,915), for a $25.6m running total.

Fox's Ice Age: The Meltdown continued itspowerful run, losing 28% for a $3m gross and a $187m total.

Sony's Silent Hill was off 45% to $2.2m (fora $44.5m total) and New Line's Hoot fell 37% in its second week to $2.1m(for a $6.2m total).

Next weekend's wide releases are: Sony's thriller TheDa Vinci Code, starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tatou; Paramount's animatedfamily comedy Over The Hedge, featuring the voices of Bruce Willis andGarry Shandling; and Lionsgate's teen horror outing See No Evil,starring Glen Jacobs.

Estimated Top Ten North America May 12-14 2006

Film (Distributor)/Internationaldistribution/Estimated weekend

gross/Estimated total to date

1 (1) Mission: Impossible III (Paramount)UIP $25.5m $84.6m

2 (-) Poseidon (Warner) Warner $20.3m -

3 (2) RV (Sony) SPRI $9.5m $42.8m

4 (-) Just My Luck (Fox) Fox Intl $5.5m -

5 (3) An American Haunting (Freestyle) TheLittle Film Company $3.7m $10.9m

6 (5) United 93 (Universal) UIP/StudioCanal$3.6m $25.6m

7 (4) Stick It (Buena Vista) BVI $3.2m$22.2m

8 (6)Ice Age: The Meltdown (Fox) Fox Intl $3m $187.4m

9 (7) Silent Hill (TriStar) Focus Features$2.2m $44.5m

10 (9) Hoot (New Line) NLI $2.1m $6.2m