‘When A Stranger Calls’ Picks Up $22 Million And #1

Thriller took the top spot while Oscar-nominated 'Brokeback Mountain' climbed to #4.

A trip to the cineplex may have left a lot of teenagers rethinking their babysitting jobs as “When a Stranger Calls” took the #1 spot at the box office.

In the fright-fest remake, which earned $22 million, Jill Johnson (Camilla Belle) begins to receive ominous phone calls during a routine babysitting gig, asking if she’s “checked the children lately.” After realizing the calls might not be a joke, Jill notifies the police — who trace the calls to a phone inside the house (see ” ‘When A Stranger Calls’ Brings The Horror Home” ).

“Big Momma’s House 2″ slipped to #2 in the box-office rankings, earning more than $13.3 million. The comedy finds Martin Lawrence revisiting the role of Malcolm Turner, an FBI agent who goes undercover in a fat suit and flowered dress as Big Momma (see “Rewind: A Wardrobe Full of Cinematic Cross-Dressing Goodness” ). This time around, Turner is investigating his former partner’s murder.

“Nanny McPhee” fell from #2 to #3 this week with more than $9.9 million. The family-friendly flick stars Emma Thompson as the magical title character called to help tame the seven unruly children of a recent widower (Colin Firth).

“Brokeback Mountain,” nominated for eight Academy Awards on Tuesday (see ” ‘Brokeback Mountain’ Leads Oscar Race With Eight Nominations” ), enjoyed a two-notch rise on the box-office top 10 this week. The film about a ranch hand and a rodeo cowboy who fall in love one summer, rose from #6 to #4 with more than #5.6 million (see ” ‘Brokeback’ More Than Just ‘The Gay Cowboy Film,’ Cast Says” ).

“Hoodwinked,” the film that answers any lingering questions children may have about what exactly went on at Grandma’s house in “Little Red Riding Hood,” held at #5 for a second week. The animated film, featuring the voices of Anne Hathaway and Anthony Anderson, earned $5.3 million.

From fairy tale animals to creatures of the night, the vampire-centric “Underworld: Evolution” fell from #3 to #6 with $5.1 million. The sequel, starring Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman, centers on the legacy of the feud between the vampire Death Dealers and werewolf Lycans (see “Scott Speedman Says ‘Underworld’ Vampire Sex Scene Sucked” ).

Rounding out this week’s box-office top 10 are “Something New,” which bowed at #7 with more than $5 million; “Annapolis,” which fell from #4 to #8 with more than $3.4 million; “Walk the Line,” which reappeared on the top 10 at #9 with more than $3.4 million; and “Glory Road,” which fell from #7 to #10 with more than $3 million.

Overall, ticket sales were down from the corresponding weekend last year.

Next week, look for “Curious George,” “Final Destination 3,” “Firewall” and “The Pink Panther” to debut on the box-office top 10.

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