AVP Slaughters Competition

The prospect of seeing two of filmdom’s most menacing extraterrestrial threats on one screen proved irresistible to most moviegoers over the weekend. Alien Vs. Predator from 20th Century Fox scared up around $38 million to easily take the top spot. Warner Bros.’ animated Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie also enjoyed an impressive debut, showing up at No. 4 with an estimated $9.3 million.

Written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil, Event Horizon, Mortal Kombat), AVP takes place in Antarctica, where a group of scientists use alien eggs to lure predators to an ancient pyramid and end up caught in the middle of the ensuing monster melee. The film is based on the popular Dark Horse comic book series of the same name and features visual effects by ADI, Cinesite, Moving Picture Co. and Double Negative. Overseeing the ambitious project was Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor John Bruno (The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Batman Returns).

A surprisingly wide opening paid off for Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie. While the anime TV series and trading card game phenomenon has legions of fans around the world, it’s still a niche property, appealing almost exclusively to young boys. Cracking the top five amidst more wide-appeal competition was more than Fox had hoped for, having paid $5 million for domestic distribution.

Buena Vista’s The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement landed in the No. 2 spot with an estimated $23 million for the weekend and around $37 million since opening on Wednesday. DreamWorks’ Collateral dropped to third place in its second week with around $16 million and Universal’s The Bourne Supremacy rounds out the top five with an estimated $8.3 million for the weekend and an impressive four-week cume of $139 million.