‘Lakeview’ tops modest box office

Sony-Screen Gems thriller nabs $5.1 million

The fall box office eased slightly Friday from its bump a week ago as another four wide releases entered the marketplace with Sony-Screen Gems’ thriller “Lakeview Terrace” easily coming in No. 1.

Directed by Neil LaBute, the Samuel L. Jackson thriller grossed $5.1 million from 2,464 theaters.  Pic looks to best the opening of LaBute’s previous fall 2006 outing, the Nicolas Cage horror-thriller redux “The Wicker Man” which bowed to $2.8 million on its first day and $9.6 million for the weekend.

Collectively, the four wide bows yesterday – “Lakeview Terrace,” Lionsgate’s “My Best Friend’s Girl,” MGM’s family toon “Igor” and DreamWorks/Paramount’s “Ghost Town” — totaled an estimated $11.7 million, while the cume for last Friday’s frosh crop, led by Focus Features’ “Burn After Reading,” nearly doubled that or $22.2 million.

The Coen brothers’ “Burn” held well, coming in No. 2 on Friday.  Pic declined 47% from its opening Friday to $3.4 million from 2,657 for an eight-day total of $28.5 million.

R-rated “Best Friend’s Girl,” toplining Dane Cook and Kate Hudson, placed third for the day, grossing $3.1 million from 2,604.  Laffer fell below the $5 million first-day gross of Cook’s “Good Luck Chuck,” which debuted the same weekend a year ago.

The Robert De Niro-Al Pacino combo “Righteous Kill” from Overture Films declined 61% in its second Friday, generating $2.3 million in fourth place from 3,152.  Its eight- day total currently stands at $23.4 million.

“Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys” from Lionsgate notched fifth with $2.09 million off 2,070, down 67% from its opening day a week ago.  Total B.O. to date: $23 million.

Ranking sixth, MGM’s release of the Exodus Film Group toon “Igor” collected $2.08 million from 2,339.  Playing at 1,505 locales, David Koepp’s “Ghost Town”  about a man who learns he can talk with ghosts, posted $1.5 million in eighth place. 

In similar fashion to last September when it unspooled “The Assassination of Jesse James” in a limited number of theaters, Warner Bros. bowed another western, New Line’s “Appaloosa,” in 14 engagements yesterday.  Directed by and starring Ed Harris, as well as Renee Zellweger and Viggo Mortensen, “Appaloosa” touted a hearty $80,000 for a per theater of $5,743.  “Jesse James” bowed in five theaters a year ago, chalking up $44,521 on its first day and $147,812 over three.

Paramount Vantage’s Kiera Knightley-Ralph Fiennes period piece “The Duchess” about Georgiana Spencer, the Duchess of Devonshire, touted a per site average of $8,015 or $56,000 from seven theaters in New York and Los Angeles.

Alan Ball’s “Towelhead” distributed by Warner Bros. saw a Friday-to-Friday gain of 22% after inching its theater count from four to 18.  The drama starring Aaron Eckhart, Maria Bello and Toni Collette made $19,000 yesterday raising its total to $92,500.