‘Amityville Horror’ Tops Box Office

Movie News | Apr 17th, 2005

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“The Amityville Horror,” a remake of the popular 1979 haunted house flick and the only film to open in wide release over the April 15-17 weekend, took top honors at the North American box office without much direct competition.

The R-rated film, based on a bestseller by Jay Anson, marked the last wide release managed solely by distributors at MGM, which was acquired two weeks ago by an investor group led by Sony Corp (SNE.N). It was also the first MGM-produced film since that merger to count as part of Sony Pictures’ market share. The film also is a co-production with Miramax’s Dimension films.

Starring newcomers Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George, “The Amityville Horror” raked in $23.3 million, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations, about the amount studio executives had expected. Final box office results will be available Monday.

Meanwhile, last week’s No. 1 pick, “Sahara,” which has been drawing a broad family audience, slipped to second place with $13.1 million with a cumulative total of $36.4 million.

Produced by Bristol Bay and released by Paramount Pictures, “Sahara” features an Indiana Jones-type character played by Matthew McConaughey in search of a lost Civil War battleship. Also starring are Penelope Cruz and William H. Macy. Paramount is a unit of Viacom Inc.

Holding its own at No. 3 for the second week in a row was Twentieth Century Fox’s “Fever Pitch,” a PG-13-rated chick flick with a baseball theme. Fox is a unit of News Corp.

The film starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore, and also produced by Barrymore, drew $8.8 million in sales and a cumulative total of $23.9 million.

“Sin City,” the R-rated film noir adaptation of Frank Miller’s comics from Dimension, a unit of Disney’s Miramax studio, slid to No. 4 from No. 2 in its third week at the box office. Starring Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba and Mickey Rourke, the film drew $6.7 million, 53 percent less than last week, and cumulative sales-to-date of $50.7 million.

The rest of the top 10 films remained in much the same pecking order as they had been in last week.

Sony Pictures’ PG-13-rated “Guess Who,” an update of the 1967 classic “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” with Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac, slid one spot to No. 5 from No. 4 last week, with $4.9 million and a cumulative total of $57.6 million.

The PG-13-rated “Beauty Shop,” starring Queen Latifah, slid one spot to No. 6 from No. 5 last week drawing 3.8 million and a cumulative total of $31.3 million. “Beauty Shop” was also released by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Inc., before the company was acquired by Sony.

Slipping one notch to No. 7 from No. 6 was “Robots,” from Fox, which drew $3.6 million in ticket sales and a five-week cumulative haul of $115.7 million.

“Miss Congeniality 2” starring Sandra Bullock took eighth place after coming in at No. 7 last week. The film, put out by Warner Bros., a division of Time Warner Inc., drew $2.9 million and a cumulative total-to-date of $41.6 million.

Slipping to No. 9 from No. 8 was the Vin Diesel comedy “The Pacifier,” which brought in $2.4 million. The PG-rated family movie, released by Walt Disney Co.’s Buena Visa studio had a cumulative total of $103.7 million in its seventh week.

In its second week of full release, New Line Cinema’s “The Upside of Anger” came in at No. 10 for the second week in a row with $1.9 million, down 24 percent from last weekend’s total.

The R-rated film starring Kevin Costner and Joan Allen, showing in one-half to one-third the number of theaters as most of its box office competitors, has a cumulative total-to-date of $15 million. New Line is a unit of Time Warner Inc.