'Hill' thrills to $20 mil

“Silent Hill” pushed “Scary Movie 4″ out of first place with a $20.2 million bow, but Universal was the studio left frightened after “American Dreamz” opened to just $3.7 million.

Sony Tristar’s videogame adaptation had a solid bow in line with the year’s other youth-skewing horror pics such as “When a Stranger Calls” and “Hostel.” Unsurprisingly, pic drew heavily on teens, with 67% of moviegoers under 25. Despite its gamer pedigree, aud skewed only modestly male at 55%.

“Silent Hill” averaged $6,904 at 2,926 playdates.

“Scary Movie 4″ fell 58% in its second week, coming in a comfortable no. 2 with $17 million. Drop is the exact same the last franchise entry had on its second frame, but a little more impressive given that most kids were out of school on “Scary Movie 4’s” opening Friday. Per theater average was $4,636 at 3,674 playdates and the cume is $67.7 million.

“The Sentinel” opened to a modest $14.6 million, though that was better than tracking indicated going into the weekend.

Fox’s Michael Douglas starrer drew an aud that was 72% 30 and older to its 2,818 theaters, where it averaged $5,197 per play.

“American Dreamz” was unable to draw older auds interested in its satire or younger fans of “American Idol.” Ticket buyers spanned ages but were 62% female.

Universal was hoping to at least beat the $8.6 million bow of “About a Boy,” also helmed by Paul Weitz, in May of 2002, and possibly come close to the $14.3 million “In Good Company” grossed when it went wide in January of 2004.

Playing 1,500 locations, average take for “Dreamz” was $2,460.

Right behind it was “Friends With Money,” which expanded to 991 playdates in its third week and had a decent gross, given its indie roots, of $3.6 million. Drawing mostly middle-aged femmes, Jennifer Aniston starrer made $3,584 per theater and has cumed $5.3 million.

Showing resilience amongst family auds, “The Wild” dropped only 17% from its weak debut, grossing $8.1 million at 2,854 locations, giving it an average of $2,821 and bringing the Disney toon’s cume to $22 million.

In limited release, Miramax expanded Blighty comedy “Kinky Boots” to 26 theaters, up from 17 its opening weekend, and took a so-so $111,000, or $4,255 per play. Cume is now $213,000.

Picturehouse took “The Notorious Bettie Page” from 20 to 52 playdates and saw modest results, grossing $195,447, or $3,759 per theater. Indie plans to take the biopic, which has cumed just over $400,000, to another 15 or 20 locations next weekend.

Frame was another strong one, up 14% from the same one a year ago, when “The Interpreter” bowed no. 1 with $22.8 million but the other openers and holdovers were significantly softer. That puts 2006 box office ahead 4% over 2005, according to Nielsen EDI, a streak that should continue at least through the summer, given the weak spring last year.

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