Silent Hill chills the US Box office

Studio estimates put the video game-based horror at the top of the charts

In a weekend that saw yet more films bypass US critics (curse you, studiooos!), it was clear that US moviegoers were in the mood to be scared. It’s hardly a barnstorming opening for Christophe Gans’ Silent Hill, but $20 million isn’t too bad considering this was a film without major stars and with a fairly low budget.

On the other end of the horror spectrum (not that anyone could confuse the Scary Movie franchise with a chiller, but you get the idea), Scary Movie 4 dropped to second place, taking $17.4 million and shifting its total to $67.6 million in the US. America has spoken: it still thinks Leslie Nielsen and Anna Faris are funny. Scary Movie 5 has already been greenlit, though we may have to wait while David Zucker makes Superhero (bet you can’t guess what that’s making fun of).

Opening in third place was The Sentinel, with Kiefer Sutherland and Michael Douglas perhaps discovering that Stateside audiences are quite happy watching Sutherland run around with a gun for free at night on 24. The film had a relatively disappointing $14 million kick-off.

Further down the charts, Ice Age 2 slowly began to see the thaw set in, but with $167 million in the US alone so far, no one’s going to panic. Fifth place was Disney’s The Wild, holding stronger than might have been suspected given that awful opening. Still, it started in the middle of the charts and it remains there, so no one’s going to be celebrating too much. Sixth place went to Rob Schneider comedy The Benchwarmers, which took in $7.3 million this week, a hefty leap ahead of Take The Lead, which looks to be losing the lead rapidly at seventh, with just $4.2 million.

Having said that, it was better than this week’s big loser. Pop Idol/political satire American Dreamz was probably hoping that the huge viewing figures that tune into Simon Cowell and co every week would turn out for this. Whoops… Dreamz became more of a nightmare, with even studio Universal appearing to admit defeat by only opening the film in 1,500 screens. The opening weekend for Hugh Grant and co? A dismal $4 million. The country has voted the film off.

At nine, Inside Man prepared to leave the charts, taking $3.7 million in its fifth week of release, with tenth place going to Jennifer Aniston-starring comedy drama Friends With Money, with $3.5 million - and that’s on only 991 screens. Compare that to American Dreamz…

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