Millions of Americans went to the movies this weekend to have Hollywood reassure them that their childhood fear was true: Yes, there really was a monster in your closet.
The thriller flick "Boogeyman" took the #1 spot on the box-office top 10 this weekend with $19.5 million, according to early estimates. The Sam Raimi ("Spider-Man") project finds a young man (Barry Watson) facing his childhood fear that there was a monster hiding in his closet by spending a night in the home where he grew up (see "Barry Watson's Boogey Nights").
While the majority of movie-going Americans chose to put their phobias to the test, the second-largest group of viewers opted for some pre-Valentine's Day romance. "The Wedding Date," the romantic comedy about a woman (Debra Messing) who hires a male escort (Dermot Mulroney) as her date for her sister's wedding, bowed at #2 with $11 million.
"Are We There Yet?" continues its slow descent down the top 10, slipping from #2 to #3 this week. The comedy about a player who finds himself chauffeuring the children of his love interest brought in $10.4 million.
"Hide and Seek" cowered under the weight of a new thriller, dropping from its #1 last-week debut to #4. In the movie, Robert De Niro plays a widower whose daughter (Dakota Fanning) creates an imaginary friend that makes the young girl act in ways that begin to frighten her father and her doctor (Famke Jansen).
Oscar contenders "Million Dollar Baby" and "The Aviator" were well-matched fighters this week, weighing in at #5 and #6, respectively. "Million Dollar Baby," the film about a boxing trainer (Clint Eastwood) who reluctantly takes on a female trainee (Hilary Swank), dropped from #3 to #5 this week with more than $8.7 million. "The Aviator," which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes, hovered at #6 with more than $5.4 million.
Rounding out the top 10 this week are "Meet the Fockers," which dropped from #4 to #7 with $5 million; "Sideways" which held onto the #8 spot for the second week in a row with $4.8 million; "Racing Stripes," which slid from #7 to #9 with more than $4.4 million; and "Coach Carter," which tumbled five notches from #5 to #10 with $4.4 million.
Overall, ticket sales were down slightly from the corresponding weekend last year.
Next week, look for "Hitch" to debut on the box-office top 10. Also opening in theaters are the children's animated film "Pooh's Heffalump Movie" and the slightly less kid-friendly "Inside Deep Throat."
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