Village Goes to Town, Thunderbirds M.I.A.

M. Night Shyamalan’s supernatural thriller, The Village, proved critic-proof over the weekend as moviegoers flocked to the fright flick despite mixed reviews. The latest effort from the director of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs easily claimed the top spot with close to $51 million, trouncing newcomers The Manchurian Candidate, Thunderbirds and Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.

Also beating those new arrivals listed above was Universal’s cloak-and-dagger sequel, The Bourne Supremacy, which came in from the cold with an estimated $23.4 million in its second week. Despite a steep 55% drop from its $54 million opening, the Matt Damon vehicle managed to take second place and drive its cume right up to the edge of the $100 million mark.

Paramount’s Denzel Washington-led remake of the science-fiction political thriller, The Manchurian Candidate, pulled in just north of $20 million to land at No. 3, while 20th Century Fox’s animation-intensive I, Robot wound down to fourth place with $10 million in week three. Still hanging around in the top five after five weeks is Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man 2, which at $344 million is still trailing DreamWork’s animated Shrek 2 by nearly $100 million. Meanwhile, Warner Bros.’ Catwoman took a 63.6% plunge in its second weekend, scratching up an estimated $6.1 million.

Thunderbirds, Universal’s live-action adaptation of Gerry Anderson’s classic 1960s “supermarionation” puppet series, debuted at No. 12 with around $2.6 million. Despite flashy digital effects by Framestore CFC and Effects Associates, the film failed to attract audiences even with the dearth of new family-friendly pics.