Silent But Deadly at Box Office

Sony Pictures video game-based horror flick, Silent Hill, slayed the competition at the North American box office over the weekend, scaring up an estimated $20.2 million to claim No. 1 status. Meanwhile, two animated features remain in the top five as Fox Animation/Blue Sky’s Ice Age: The Meltdown continues to enjoy a warm reception and Disney’s The Wild manages to hold onto its meager audience share.

Directed by Christophe Gans (Brotherhood of the Wolf) and co-written by Roger Avery (Pulp Fiction), Silent Hill employed a small army of visual effects teams to bring the popular, seven-year-old video game franchise to the screen. The pic features some creepy visuals provided by BUF, Luma Pictures, Mr. X Inc., MOKKO Studio, C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures, Intelligent Creatures Inc., Frantic Films and Invisible Pictures.

It’s a bit ironic that a horror film dethroned last week’s box office champion, Scary Movie 4, which has raked in an estimated $67 million by poking fun at popular fright flicks. Perhaps Silent Hill with get skewered next year with the inevitable release of Scary Movie 5. The franchise’s fourth installment dropped to No. 2 with around $17 million in its second weekend. Though the spoof lost approximately 57% of its audience, it earned enough to trump newcomers The Sentinel from 20th Century Fox and American Dreamz from Universal.

The Sentinel, an espionage thriller starring Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland, debuted at No. 3 with an estimated $14.6 million. Meanwhile, American Dreamz, a satirical look at U.S. politics and the television phenomenon known as American Idol, opened at No. 8. Universal didn’t show much faith in the movie, giving it a weak, 1,500-theater rollout that generated approximately $3.6 million.

Ice Age: The Meltdown is still performing strongly in its fourth week. The CG comedy sequel earned a cool $12.8 million according to estimates, driving its cumulative domestic take to around $167.8 million. Worldwide, the film has brought in more than $443 million. Disney’s The Wild, animated by C.O.R.E. Feature Animation in Canada, hasn’t faired so well. The $80 million toon took in approximately $8 million over the weekend to bring its two-week domestic draw to just $22 million. Overseas markets have contributed another $9.3 million.