Modest Victory for Sky Captain

While $16.2 million marks a disappointing opening for a $70 million effects extravaganza with A-list stars, it was enough to put Paramount Pictures’ Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow at the top of the charts in its debut weekend. The live-action/CG hybrid sci-fi adventure flick knocked Sony ScreenGems’ Resident Evil: Apocalypse out of the No. 1 spot and easily upset fellow newcomers Mr. 3000 from Buena Vista, Wimbledon from Universal and National Lampoon’s Gold Diggers from P&A.

Written and directed by newcomer Kerry Conran, Sky Captain blends live actors with computer-generated environments and animated elements like giant, Fleischer-style robots. Conran’s own effects studio, WOT, contributed to the film’s pixel magic, as did ILM, Stan Winston Digital, Café FX, Gray Matter FX, The Orphanage, Pacific Title Digital, Pixel Liberation Front, Ring of Fire, R!OT, Rising Sun Pictures, Hybride Technologies, Engine Room, EFilm, Luma Pictures and Rising Sun Pictures.

The Bernie Mac baseball comedy, Mr. 3000, posted a distant second with an estimated $9.2 million, followed by Resident Evil: Apocalypse, which falls to No. 3 with around $9 million and a steep 60% drop-off from last weekend. The Kirsten Dunst/Paul Bettany romantic comedy, Wimbledon, comes in at No. 4 with an estimated $7.7 million and New Line Cinema’s second week holdover, Cellular, rounds out the top five with around $6.8 million.