Despite a rush of new releases — including one that featured Jessica Alba and Paul Walker in bathing suits — Jodie Foster's "Flightplan" held on to the #1 spot at the box office for the second week in a row.
The airplane-set thriller co-starring Peter Sarsgaard earned more than $15 million in its second week in theaters, according to early estimates. In "Flightplan," Foster stars as a widow who believes she lost her daughter on a flight from Berlin to New York (see "Jodie Foster's 'Flightplan' Role Originally Written For A Guy, But 'Didn't Ring True' "). Frantic, Foster's character searches the massive plane and asks the crew and passengers for help, but everyone on the flight claims to have no record of the child being aboard.
Of the three new releases which landed on the top 10 this week, "Serenity" — the sci-fi thriller adapted from Joss Whedon's ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") short-lived TV series, "Firefly" — topped them all, bowing at #2 with more than $10.1 million. Nathan Fillion, who also starred in the TV series, plays Malcolm Reynolds, captain of the spaceship Serenity. After being defeated in a galactic battle, Reynolds was left with just his ship and must deal with the consequences of acquiring two difficult new passengers: a young doctor and his telepathic sister (see "Serenity: Rebels Without A Pause").
Tim Burton's "Corpse Bride" dropped one spot due to the onslaught of new releases — slipping from #2 to #3 and earning more than $9.7 million (see "Dead Ahead: Tim Burton's Sweetly Spooky 'Corpse Bride'"). In the film, Johnny Depp voices Victor, a man who flees his wedding and accidentally slips a wedding band intended for his fiancee on the hand of a deceased bride who promptly escorts Victor down into the vivacious land of the dead.
After opening last week in limited release, "A History of Violence" made its debut on the box-office top 10, landing at #4 with $8.2 million. Based on the graphic novel of the same name by John Wagner, the film stars Viggo Mortensen as Tom Stall, a diner owner who leads a fairly quiet life until the night two men attempt to rob his establishment. Stall defends his diner and becomes known as a local hero until two men arrive in town who insist he's really Joey Cusack, the brother of an organized crime boss (see "Cronenberg's 'A History Of Violence' Is Creepy In A New Kind Of Way").
"Into the Blue," which bowed at #5 with $7 million, involves criminals and thugs too — only the stars of this film wear a lot less clothing when interacting with the dangerous characters. Alba and Walker play Samantha and Jared, a swimsuit-clad couple living in the Bahamas searching for underwater treasure (see "Paul And Jessica's Shark Tales"). When Jared's brother and his girlfriend (played by Scott Caan and Ashley Scott) come for a visit, the foursome stumble upon the wreckage of a drug dealer's plane — complete with a cargo of cocaine — smashed on top of a ship full of treasure. While Jared and Samantha hope to ignore the drug find and go after the treasure, Jared's brother and his girlfriend want to sell the cocaine to make more money.
With so many new releases pushing their way into the first half of the box-office top 10, "Just Like Heaven" — which stars Mark Ruffalo as a man who begins a relationship with the recently-departed owner of his new apartment (Reese Witherspoon) — fell from #3 to #6 with $6.1 million.
Rounding out this week's box office top 10 are "The Exorcism of Emily Rose," which dropped from #5 to #7 with $4.4 million; "Roll Bounce," which slid from #4 to #8 with more than $4 million; "The Greatest Game Ever Played," which opened at #9 with more than $3.7 million; and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," which fell from #7 to #10 with more than $3.1 million.
Overall, ticket sales were down slightly from the corresponding weekend last year.
Next week, look for "In Her Shoes," "Two for the Money," "Waiting ..." and "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" to debut in the box-office top 10.
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