Screen Gems' horror-thriller When a StrangerCalls was the box office champion in North America over the traditionallyslow Super Bowl weekend, opening with an estimated gross of $22m.
Fox's Big Momma's House 2, last week'sleader, dropped to second, with an estimated $13.4m, and Universal's NannyMcPhee came in third with an estimated $9.9m.
The weekend's other new wide release, FocusFeatures' romantic comedy Something New, came in seventh with a slightlydisappointing $5m. But Focus' Brokeback Mountain and Fox's Walk theLine both got boosts from the Oscar nominations they received earlier inthe week.
With many moviegoers staying at home to watch theSuper Bowl American football game on TV, the total gross for the top ten filmswas down 18.5% on last week, and 6.5% on the same weekend last year.
Poorly received by critics but aimed primarily atteens and women, When a Stranger Calls worked as counter-programming tothe TV sport. Becoming another success for Sony's Screen Gems genre label,Stranger -- directed by Simon West, starring Camilla Belle and based on a 1979baby-sitter-in-peril chiller of the same name -- took its $22m from 2,999theatres, for a per-screen average of $7,336.
Aimed more at the Super Bowl demographic, BigMomma's House 2 dropped off 52% in its second week, to $13.4m from 3,261theatres, for an average of $4,094 and a cumulative total of $45.4m. NannyMcPhee held on better, dropping only 35% to $9.9m from 2,146 theatres, fora $4,615 average and a total of $26.6m.
With eight Academy Award nominations under itsbelt, Brokeback Mountain widened from 1,654 theatres to 2,089 andgrossed $5.7m (for a $2,719 average), just 13% less than last weekend, bringingits running total to $59.8m.
Walk the Line -- which got five nominationsbut did not join Brokeback in the Best Picture category - saw even morebenefit, widening from 1,201 theatres to 1,577 in its twelfth week and grossing$3.4m (for a $2,172 average), 13% more than last weekend. Total gross for Walkreached $110.8m and the film jumped back up to ninth place in the chart.
The Weinstein Co's Hoodwinked held up wellin its fourth week, staying at number five with a gross of $5.3m (down 29%)from 2,907 theatres (average - $1,823), for a $44.1m total.
Underworld: Evolution, which topped thechart for Screen Gems a few weeks ago, came in sixth, with $5.1m from 2,870theatres (average - $1,777), for a $52.8m total.
Something New, a positively-reviewedinterracial rom-com directed by Sanaa Hamri and starring Sanaa Lathan and SimonBaker, opened in sixth place on the chart, grossing its $5m from 1,266 theatresfor a $3,962 average.
Buena Vista's Annapolis fell off 55% in itssecond week, sliding to eighth with $3.5m from 1,607 theatres (average -$2,163), for a $12.9m running total.
The same distributor's Glory Road roundedoff the top ten, taking $3m from 2,141 theatres (average - $1,404) after fourweeks on release. The film's total reached just over $39m.
Next weekend's wide releases are: Universal'sanimated children's film Curious George, featuring the voice of WillFerrell; New Line's teen horror sequel Final Destination 3, with MaryElizabeth Winstead and Ryan Merriman; Warner Bros' Harrison Ford thriller Firewall;and Sony's comedy revival The Pink Panther, starring Steve Martin.
Estimated Top Ten North America Feb 3-5 2006
Film (Distributor)/Internationaldistribution/Estimated weekend
gross/Estimated total to date
1 (-) When a Stranger Calls (Screen Gems)SPRI $22m -
2 (1) Big Momma's House 2 (Fox) Fox Int'l$13.4m $45.4m
3 (2) Nanny McPhee (Universal) UIP $9.9m$26.6m
4 (6) Brokeback Mountain (Focus Features)Focus Features $5.7m $59.8m
5 (5) Hoodwinked(Weinstein Co) CMG $5.3m$44.1m
6 (3)Underworld: Evolution (Screen Gems) SPRI $5.1m $52.7m
7 (-) Something New (Focus Features) FocusFeatures $5m -
8 (4) Annapolis (Touchstone) BVI $3.5m$12.9m
9 (12) Walk the Line (Fox) Fox Int'l $3.4m $110.7m
10 (7) Glory Road (Buena Vista) BVI $3m $39m