TriStar's horror tale Silent Hill emerged as the North American weekendchampion on an estimated $20.2m while Fox's thriller The Sentinel opened third on $14.7m and Universal's AmericanDreamz flopped in eighthplace on $3.7m.

Meanwhile last weekend's top title Scary Movie 4 from Dimension Films fell to second placeon $17m for a $67.7m cumulative total. Fox's Ice Age: The Meltdown raised its tally to $167.9m after fourweekends, and Sony's comedy The Benchwarmers is approaching $50m after three.

Sony Pictures Classics' Sundance opener Friends With Money climbed five places to 10th for a $5.3mrunning total after three, while Fox Searchlight's Thank You For Smoking slipped out of the top 10, ranking 11thon $15.8m after six.

Overall the top 12 titles combined for $100.4m, up 22% against thesame period last year.

In the video game adaptation Silent Hill, Radha Mitchell stars asa mother who searches for her abducted daughter in a haunted town. ChristopherGans' first film since 2001's Brotherhood Of The Wolf opened to below-par reviews but averaged$6,903 on 2,926 screens.

Michael Douglas plays a Secret Serviceman suspected of trying to assassinatethe President in The Sentinel. Kiefer Sutherland and Eva Longoria also star in the filmdirected by Clark Johnson which averaged $5,196 on 2,819 screens.

Paul Weitz's attempt to blend the elements of satire and comedy inAmerican Dreamz wasn't a popular choice with filmgoers this weekend, andcritics gave it mixed reviews.

Dennis Quaid plays the US President who tries to boost low popularityratings by taking part on a popular television talent show. Hugh Grant is the showhost and Mandy Moore plays a leading contestant. The picture averaged a poor $2,460on 1,500 screens.

Next weekend's wide releases are Buena Vista's comedy Stick It starring Jeff Bridges; Lionsgate's drama AkeelahAnd The Bee starring LaurenceFishburne, Angela Bassett and Keke Palmer; Sony's comedy RV starring Robin Williams and Cheryl Hines;and Universal's 9/11 drama United 93.

Estimated Top Ten North America Apr 21-23 2006

Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend

gross/Estimated total to date

1 (-) Silent Hill (TriStar) Focus Features $20.2m -

2 (1) Scary Movie 4 (TWC) BVI $17m $67.7m

3 (-) The Sentinel (Fox) Fox Intl/Regency $14.7m -

4 (2) Ice Age: The Meltdown (Fox) Fox Intl $12.8m $167.9m

5 (4) The Wild (Disney) BVI $8.1m $21.9m

6 (3) The Benchwarmers (Sony) SPRI $7.3m $47.1m

7 (5) Take The Lead (New Line) NLI $4.3m $29.6m

8 (-) American Dreamz (Universal) UIP $3.69m -

9 (6) Inside Man (Universal) UIP $3.67m $81.2m

10 (15) FriendsWith Money (SPC) SPRI$3.6m $5.3m