The Grudge 2 haunts the US box office

But studio estimates show a significant drop from the original’s opening

Looks like the powerful head of steam that the Asian horror remake genre built up around the time of The Ring has really started to run out. The latest proof: horror sequel The Grudge 2 might have won the weekend and given Sony yet another number one opening, but that $22 million estimated total isn’t much of a success compared to the $39 million scored by the first movie two years ago.

Much healthier was the box office juggernaut that is Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. The crime thriller nabbed $18.7 million in its second weekend, a drop of just 30% from last week, and enough to give it $56.6 million so far. And third place went to Barry Levinson’s new political satire, Man Of The Year. Robin Williams wins the election to become US president, but the film could only secure $12.5 million in its first weekend. In fourth, the animated animals of Open Season dug in for another successful weekend, with the running total now at $59.1 million after three weeks, while sinking fast - that’s what awful word of mouth will do for you - is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, which saw 58% of its earnings get sliced off this second weekend.

Opening without much success in sixth was Fox’s The Marine, the latest attempt by the WWE Film team to turn one of their wrestlers into a cinematic star. Unfortunately for John Cena, he could only rustle up $7 million. It was one place ahead of Kevin Costner’s coast guard drama The Guardian, which managed $5.8 million for a total of $41.1 million so far.

Eighth finds Dax Shepard comedy Employee Of The Month, which hasn’t exactly been living up to its name – it only made $5.6 million this weekend and is at $20 million after two weeks of release.

The weekend’s fourth new opener is indie niche release One Night With The King. Featuring the likes of Peter O’Toole, John Rhys Davies and James Callis, it’s a biblically-influenced, epic tale of a young girl who helps a king to stop those plotting against him. It had plenty of support, managing to arrive in the top 10 in its first weekend and making $4.3 million. And, at the other end of the taste spectrum, Jackass Number Two squats at 10, having surpassed the first film’s box office take with $68.4 million so far.

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