‘Silent Hill’ Screams Drown Out ‘Scary Movie’ Laughs

Horror-movie spoof knocked out of #1 by the real thing.

After laughing at a “Scary Movie” spoof last week, audiences turned to a flick that would really make them scream as “Silent Hill” scores the top spot at this weekend’s box office.

“Silent Hill,” which centers on a mother (Radha Mitchell) searching for her daughter in an eerie, decaying town, bowed at #1 on the box-office top 10 with $20.2 million, according to early estimates. In the film, Mitchell’s character takes her ailing daughter to find a healer in a mysterious area. Once they arrive, the daughter disappears and the mother must search for her in a town overcome by a dark force — and inhabited by a small group of humans fighting for survival (see “No Green Screen Here — ‘Silent Hill’ Baddies Report To Set” ).

Focusing on the lighter side of horror, “Scary Movie 4″ slipped out of the #1 spot where it debuted last week, sliding into the #2 position. The film, which stars Anna Faris, Leslie Nielsen and Molly Shannon and spoofs blockbusters including “The Village,” “Saw” and “War of the Worlds” (see “Shameless ‘Scary Movie 4′ Has Foam Butts, Alien iPods” ), earned more than $17 million.

“The Sentinel” was the only other new release to crack the top half of the box-office top 10 this week. Michael Douglas stars in the film as Pete Garrison, a well-respected Secret Service agent blackmailed for having an affair with the first lady, and accused of attempting to assassinate the president (see “Who Wants To Kill The President? Star-Studded ‘Sentinel’ Cast Won’t Tell “ ). The film, which also stars Kiefer Sutherland and Eva Longoria, bowed at #3 with more than $14.6 million.

“Ice Age: The Meltdown” began to thaw this week, sliding two spots from #2 to #4 with $12.8 million. Don’t feel too bad for the animated family film, though — it has earned more than $167.8 million in the four weeks since it debuted in theaters.

Kiefer Sutherland makes two appearances on the box-office top 10 this week, this time as an animated lion in “The Wild,” which fell from #4 to #5, earning more than $8 million. In the family-friendly animated adventure, a group of animals escape from a New York zoo in search of a young lion cub mistakenly sent into the wild.

“The Benchwarmers” tumbled from #3 to #6 under the weight of new releases. The comedy, starring Jon Heder, David Spade and Rob Schneider as a group of friends hired by a billionaire to put together a top-notch little league team (see “Arrested Development? Heder, Lovitz, Schneider And Spade Get Worked Up About Their Toys” ), earned $7.3 million.

Rounding out the box-office top 10 are “Take the Lead,” which slipped from #5 to #7 with more than $4.2 million; “American Dreamz,” which bowed at #8 with more than $3.6 million; “Inside Man,” which fell from #6 to #9 with more than $3.6 million; and “Friends with Money,” which debuted on the box-office top 10 at #10 after two weeks in limited release, with more than $3.5 million.

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

Next week, look for “Stick It,” “United 93,” “R.V.” and “Akeelah and the Bee” to debut on the box-office top 10.

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