'Silent Hill' draws crowd, climbs to top of box office

— A real scary movie bumped off the spoof variety at the box office.

Sony's fright flick "Silent Hill," set in an eerie ghost town, debuted with $20.2 million. It took over the top spot from the Weinstein Co. comedy "Scary Movie 4," which slipped to No. 2 with $17 million in its second weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The White House assassination tale "The Sentinel," a 20th Century Fox thriller starring Michael Douglas, Kiefer Sutherland and Eva Longoria, opened in third place with $14.65 million.

The weekend's other new major debut, Universal's George W. Bush-"American Idol" parody "American Dreamz" featuring Dennis Quaid and Hugh Grant, debuted a weak No. 8 with $3.7 million.

After two weekends in limited release, Jennifer Aniston's comic drama "Friends With Money" expanded nationwide and came in at No. 10 with $3.55 million. Aniston plays a down-on-her-luck housecleaner with three well-to-do pals (Frances McDormand, Catherine Keener and Joan Cusack).

Lifted by box-office leaders that included 20th Century Fox's animated hit "Ice Age: The Meltdown" at No. 4 with $12.8 million, Hollywood revenues rose for the fifth straight weekend. The top 12 movies took in $100.4 million, up 22 percent from the same weekend last year.

After a prolonged dry spell in 2005, when movie attendance fell 8 percent, Hollywood is on solid footing this year heading into a potentially big summer. A surge over the past month has attendance running 4 percent ahead of last year's, said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.:

1. "Silent Hill," $20.2 million.

2. "Scary Movie 4," $17 million.

3. "The Sentinel," $14.65 million.

4. "Ice Age: The Meltdown," $12.8 million.

5. "The Wild," $8.05 million.

6. "The Benchwarmers," $7.3 million.

7. "Take the Lead," $4.25 million.

8 (tie). "American Dreamz," $3.7 million.

8 (tie). "Inside Man," $3.7 million.

10. "Friends With Money," $3.55 million.


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