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Horror movie makes some noise at the box office

April 24, 2006|R. Kinsey Lowe | Times Staff Writer

Horror of the gory sort remains a potent lure for the under-25 crowd, as "Silent Hill" illustrated this weekend with an estimated tally of $20.2 million in first position at the nation's box office.

The video game-based thriller directed by Christophe Gans ("The Brotherhood of the Wolf") drew audiences that were 65% younger than 25 and about 55% male, Sony Pictures reported Sunday.

For more mature audiences, the political thriller "The Sentinel" took in about $14.7 million to open in third place, 20th Century Fox reported, attracting a crowd that was 72% 30 and older and 52% female, according to theater exit surveys.

The political satire "American Dreamz" opened with about $3.7 million for eighth place, just ahead of "Inside Man," Universal reported. "Dreamz" audiences were about 62% female and about evenly divided between people younger and older than 30.

Nicole Holofcener's "Friends With Money," which turns a sharp eye on a group of L.A. Westsiders, edged into wide release with about $3.6 million, Sony Pictures Classics reported. Rising to 991 theaters from 42 a week earlier, "Friends" rounded out the new arrivals to the top 10, if Sunday's estimates hold up.

Estimated box office for this weekend was up 14% overall over the comparable period last year, tracking service Nielsen EDI reported, and remains about 4% ahead for the year to date versus the same time last year.

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Box Office

Preliminary results (in millions) based on studio projections.

*--* Movie 3-day gross Total Silent Hill $20.2 $20.2

Scary Movie 4 17 67.7

The Sentinel 14.7 14.7

Ice Age: The Meltdown 12.8 167.9

The Wild 8.1 22

The Benchwarmers 7.3 47.1

Take the Lead 4.3 29.6

American Dreamz 3.7 3.7

Inside Man 3.7 81.2

Friends With Money 3.6 5.3 Source: Nielsen EDI Inc. Los Angeles Times

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