Monday, September 27, 2004

Horror films scare away
most other competitors

The Associated Press

It's been a bad time for movies in general lately, but good for thrillers like The Forgotten, which claimed the No. 1 box office spot over the weekend, scaring up $22 million.

Top 10
The top 10 movies at the box office Friday-Sunday (with dollar totals in millions:

1. The Forgotten, $22

2. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, $6.7

3. Mr. 3000, $5

4. (tie) First Daughter, $4

4. (tie) Resident Evil: Apocalypse, $4

6. Cellular, $3.7

7. Wimbledon, $3.4

8. Shaun of the Dead, $3.3

9. Without a Paddle, $2.4

10. Hero, $2.3

The overall box office was down for the fourth straight weekend compared to the same time last year. But movies like The Forgotten, about a mother who believes supernatural forces have erased people from her life, and the zombie horror-satire Shaun of the Dead still debuted relatively strongly.

Critics hated The Forgotten, but its ad campaign was considered highly effective - showing creepy images of people being sucked into the atmosphere while star Julianne Moore questions what happened to her memory.

Meanwhile, Resident Evil: Apocalypse continued to play well in its third week, tying for fourth place with First Daughter. Both earned an estimated $4 million.

Shaun of the Dead, a low-budget shocker that chronicles a slacker as he barely notices a zombie takeover, collected $3.3 million in only 607 theaters to rank No. 8. By comparison, most of its competition was far more widely available to audiences in 2,000 to 3,000 locations.

Last week's top movie, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, fell to second place with $6.7 million for a total of $25.6 million in its second week.

In limited release, The Motorcycle Diaries, a Robert Redford-produced accounting of communist revolutionary Che Guevara's youthful escapades across South America, opened in only three theaters but collected an average of $52,351 in each. By comparison, The Forgotten had an average of $7,088 in 3,104 screens.

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