Christopher Nolan's period mystery The Prestige starring Christian Bale and Hugh Jackmanbeat out Clint Eastwood's wartime saga Flags Of Our Fathers at the domestic box office over theweekend.
The Prestige is an intrigue-laden tale about rival magicians and opened numberone domestically through Buena Vista on an estimated $14.8m.
Flags Of Our Fathers, which stars Ryan Phillippe, Jesse Bradford and Adam Beach,opened domestically through Paramount in third place on $10.2m. It tells thestories of the six men who raised the US flag at the World War II battle of IwoJima.
Both The Prestige and Flags Of Our Fathers are being released byWarner Bros Pictures International outside the US.
Martin Scorsese's acclaimed crime thriller The Departed added $13.7m in its third weekend for asolid $77.1m tally and held its number two position.
Twentieth Century Fox's family drama Flicka, which stars Alison Lohman, Maria Belloand Tim McGraw, opened in fifth place on $7.7m.
The only other debut to make it into the top 10 was Sony'sretro-biopic Marie Antoinette, which stars Kirsten Dunst and Jason Schwartzman. It opened ineighth place on a very strong $5.3m considering it was playing at 859 sites.
Sony'sanimated feature Open Season added$8m for $69.6m after four weekends and ranked number four.
Opening outside the top 10 were two notable launches: Buena Vistareissued Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas on a new 3D print 13 years after itsoriginal release and reported $3.3m from 168 theatres.
Sony TriStar's quirky family drama Running With Scissors took $225,000 from eight theatres.Directed by Ryan Murphy, it stars Annette Bening, Joseph Cross (who also has arole in Flags Of Our Fathers), Brian Cox, Jill Clayburgh, Evan Rachel Wood, Gwyneth Paltrowand Alec Baldwin.
Next weekend's wide releases are: Lionsgate's horror sequel SawIII starring Tobin Belland Shawnees Smith and Focus Features' Apartheid drama Catch A Fire starring Derek Luke and Tim Robbins.
Estimated Top Ten North America Oct 20-22, 2006
Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekendgross/Estimated total to date
1 (-) The Prestige (Buena Vista) WBPI $14.8m -
2(2) The Departed (Warner Bros)WBPI/Initial $13.7m $77.1m
3 (-) Flags Of Our Fathers (Paramount) WBPI $10.2m -
4 (4) Open Season (Sony) SPRI $8m $69.6m
5 (-) Flicka (Fox) Fox Int'l $7.7m -
6 (1) The Grudge 2 (Sony) SPRI/Mandate Pictures $7.7m $31.4m
7 (3) Man Of The Year (Universal) UIP/Morgan Creek $7m $22.5m
8 (-) Marie Antoinette (Sony) SPRI $5.3m -
9 (5) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (New Line) NLI $3.8m $35.9m
10 (6) The Marine (Fox) Fox Int'l $3.7m $12.5m