Screams of delight: 'The Grudge 2' is No. 1
The combination of a low-budget horror retread and teen faves Amber Tamblyn and Sarah Michelle Gellar proved just the ticket for Hollywood this weekend.
"The Grudge 2," the further adventures of young women who are afflicted with inexplicable rage that causes them to behave in unladylike ways, earned $22 million to finish a comfortable No.1 at the box office.
Critics, for whom no advance screenings were offered, called "The Grudge 2" at best a formula screamfest. Horror fans, as usual, didn't care about the critics. The original "Grudge," released in October 2004, earned $110 million.
Moviegoers were more in synch with critics on the new and heavily promoted "Man of the Year," in which Robin Williams plays a comedian who runs for president.
The reviews called it more yawns than yuks, and it finished third with a relatively modest $12.5 million.
Coming in second was last week's No.1, Martin Scorsese's "The Departed," which features acclaimed performances by Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio.
"The Departed" earned $18.7 million.
The weekend's other two major new films did less well. "The Marine," a machofest produced by wrestling promoter Vince McMahon, finished sixth with $7 million, and the historical drama "One Night With the King," which stars Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif, finished ninth with $4.3 million.
The top 12 films this weekend earned $100.7 million, a big jump over $71.6 million the same weekend last year.
Next weekend's most anticipated opening is "Flags of Our Fathers," Clint Eastwood's movie about World War II.