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Anthony Hopkins exorcises his Rite to box office win

the rite

Anthony Hopkins’ possessed priest horror The Rite opened in the number one spot at the US box office this weekend.

Fending off competition from fellow Brit Jason Statham in action remake The Machanic , the religio-horror took $15m in till kerchings. Statham settled for third place ($11.5m), just behind No Strings Attached , which flopped to second ($13.6m).

Meanwhile, The Green Hornet zipped from second to fourth ($11.5m), only just staying ahead of Oscar favourite The King’s Speech , which earned $11.1m in fifth place.

It was a bit of an Oscar battle in the box office’s mid-section, with The Coen Brothers’ nominated True Grit in sixth ($7.6m), just ahead of Black Swan in eighth ($5.1m) and The Fighter in ninth ($4m).

The quartet of award-baiting films are clearly getting a boost thanks to their nominations – though when competition comes in the form of Yogi Bear (in tenth place, $3m) and The Dilemma (in seventh, $5.7m), it’s not hard to see why audiences are favouring them.

Next week James Cameron’s Sanctum opens – can that waterbound effort sink the competition?