Maybeit was the devastation of Hurricane Ivan in the southeastern US, maybe the lackof interest in the new product but box office was slow this weekend in NorthAmerica, down some 27% from the same period last year.

Theindependently financed Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow debuted top of the charts for Paramount with $16.2mfrom 3,170 theatres, a respectable performance for the well-reviewed $70m retroscience-fiction adventure which stars Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and AngelinaJolie against a computer-generated backdrop.

Themovie which marks the feature debut of Kerry Conran was financed by producerAurelio de Laurentiis with Paramount stepping in for domestic and some foreignrights to the tune of about $40m.

SkyCaptain performed far better thanthe other two openers Buena Vista's baseball comedy Mr 3000, a vehicle for popular TV star Bernie Mac, whichdebuted at number two with $9.2m from 2,736 sites, and Universal's tennisromance Wimbledon starring PaulBettany and Kirsten Dunst which took a lackluster $7.8m from 2,034 sites.

ScreenGems' action sequel Resident Evil: Apocalypse dropped 61% from last week to take the number threeslot with $9m, marking a still impressive $37.4m total.

Theonly notable wide performer was Fox Searchlight's tremendously successfulSundance acquisition Napoleon Dynamite which took $2.4m from 1,024 screens in its 15th week onrelease. Dropping just 5% from last week, the low-budget comedy is now reachingthe level of popularity among young audiences which could propel it to asky's-the-limit gross for the Fox specialized division. It has so far grossed aspectacular $33.5m.

Nextweekend's wide openers are led by Revolution Studios' supernatural chiller TheForgotten starring Julianne Moore.Fox's romantic comedy First Daughter starring Katie Holmes as the president's daughter and Disney'smovie-making comedy The Last Shotstarring Matthew Broderick, Alec Baldwin and Joan Cusack.

EstimatedTop Ten US Sept 17-19

Film(Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimatedtotal to date

1(-) Sky Captain & The World Of Tomorrow (Paramount) FilmAuro/Various $16.2m -

2(-) Mr 3000 (Buena Vista) BVI$9.2m -

3(1) Resident Evil: Apocalypse(Screen Gems) Summit/Intermedia $9m $37.4m

4(-) Wimbledon (Universal)UIP/StudioCanal $7.8m -

5(2) Cellular (New Line) NLI $6.9m$19.8m

6(3) Without A Paddle (Paramount)UIP $3.7m $50.4m

7(4) Hero (Miramax) Focus Features$2.95m $46.2m

8(10) Napoleon Dynamite (FoxSearchlight) 20th Century Fox $2.4m $33.5m

9(8) Collateral (DreamWorks)Paramount/UIP $2.3m $96m

10(5) Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement (Buena Vista) BVI $2m $91.9m