The teen thriller "Disturbia" led the North American box office for a third weekend, as another slew of lowly new releases tried to get a toehold before next Friday's release of "Spider-Man 3," the first big film of the lucrative summer moviegoing season.
"Disturbia," a low-budget homage to Alfred Hitchcock's nosy-neighbor thriller "Rear Window," sold $9.1 million worth of tickets in the three days beginning Friday, distributor Paramount Pictures said on Sunday. It's the lowest tally for a No. 1 movie since "The Covenant" earned $8.9 million in the second weekend of September 2006.
The teen ghost drama "The Invisible" opened at No. 2 this weekend with just $7.6 million, while the Nicolas Cage action movie "Next" debuted at No. 3 with $7.2 million. Both were roughly in line with modest expectations.
Also new were the action movie "The Condemned" at No. 9 with $4.0 million, and the comedy "Kickin' It Old Skool" at No. 11 with $2.8 million.
Sales for the top 12 films came in at just $63 million, down 30% from the year-ago weekend, according to tracking firm Media by Numbers. It was the lowest tally since the third weekend of September 2006 ($61 million).
The situation should be considerably different next weekend, when Sony opens "Spider-Man 3." The previous film in the superhero franchise earned $88 million during its first weekend in 2004.
"Disturbia," starring Shia LaBeouf, has earned $52.2 million after three weekends, and gives Viacom-owned Paramount a five-weekend run at No. 1. This feat was last achieved in November/December 2004 with the Walt Disney pair of "The Incredibles" and "National Treasure." Paramount kicked off its run with the comedy "Blades of Glory," which slipped two places to No. 5 with $5.2 million, and has earned $108.1 million to date.
"The Invisible" stars Justin Chatwin as a seemingly dead teen stuck in a ghostly limbo. The Disney release was directed by David Goyer, the filmmaker behind the "Blade" franchise.
In "Next," Cage plays a Las Vegas magician who tries to stop a terrorist plot, aided by his ability to see two minutes into the future. The Paramount Pictures release was directed by Lee Tamahori of "Die Another Day" fame. "Next" is the latest film in a hugely variable career for Cage. The Oscar winner was last in theaters with the surprise hit "Ghost Rider," which opened to $45.4 million in February.
"Condemned," released by Lionsgate, stars wrestling hero Steve Austin as a death row convict who must fight for his freedom in a reality TV style competition. Lionsgate is a unit of Lions Gate Entertainment. "Old Skool," from closely held Yari Film Group, stars Jamie Kennedy as a 12-year-old boy in the body of a grown man after emerging from a two-decade coma.