Guess what? HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX made its box office debut at #1. Big surprise, huh? In fact, it did so well that (with the help of a few strong holdovers) it prevented newcomer CAPTIVITY - which also opened this weekend - from even registering in the Top Ten.
HARRY POTTER conjured up an estimated $77.4-million in 4,285 theatres during the Friday to Sunday period. Having opened two days early, on Wednesday, the film has already earned over $140-million at U.S. box offices.
TRANSFORMERS morphed out of first place into second but remained strong with $36-million. The film's two week total is now $222.95-million.
RATATOUILLE scampered down from second to third place, where it ate up $18-million, raising its three-week total to $143-million.
The only other fantasy film, mystery movie, or horror thriller to make it into the Top Ten was 1408, which held steady at #6, adding $5-million to its four-week total of $62.2-million.
FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER dropped out of the illustrious Top Ten, wiping out from eight to eleventh place. The film added $1.6-million to its five-week total of $127.1-million.
That left CAPTIVITY at #12. The film's debut netted a dismall $1.55-million in 1,050 theatres. Even taking into account its relatively small release, that averaged out to onnly $1,476 per engagement - a sign that the film isn't even drawing a niche audience.
Over at E Online, Joal Ryan points out that the film's distributor, Lionsgate, tried - and failed - to generate interest with a controversial billboard campaign and a Hollywood premier:
Lionsgate celebrated Captivity in a much-publicized Los Angeles premiere party, but, per newspaper critics, kept the movie itself under wraps. In the Boston Globe, reviewer Ty Burr wrote of having to commute to Danvers, Massachusetts, about 20 miles north of Boston, to catch a screening. His eventual verdict: "Wholly pointless," which was one of the more charitable blurbs for a film that scored only three positive reviews out of the 47 tracked and categorized by Sunday afternoon on Rotten Tomatoes.
Coming hard on the heal's of the box office disappointment of HOSTEL PART II, CAPTIVITY's ticket sales seem to be futher evidence that the so-called "torture-porn" sub-genre is dying an unlamented death. It remains to be seen whether SAW IV (sequel to the film that started it all, back in 2004) can reverse the trend.
READ THE ENTIRE TOP TEN HERE.