Ghost Rider rides again at the top of the US box office

When you’ve signed your soul over to Satan, a few narky critics in the press don’t really worry you. And such was the case with Mark Steven Johnson’s latest superhero effort, Ghost Rider, which has clung to the top of the US box office charts. Despite dropping heavily in terms of takings, the $19.7 million opening was enough to keep it at the number one spot.

Second place went to Jim Carrey’s new conspiracy thriller The Number 23, which nabbed $15.5 million. It slotted in just ahead of Bridge To Terabithia, which in its second week saw a drop of 40% to make £13.6 million, dragging its total earned so far to $46.2 million.

In fourth was Reno 911!: Miami, which managed a respectable $10.4 million, which, considering it's based on a popular - but still niche - comedy show on US cable is a decent launch.

The middle of the pack is all returning films, with Norbit leading the way. Eddie Murphy’s latex-packed extravaganza took in $9.7 million and is scraping the edge of $75 million in total earnings. The Hugh Grant rom com Music And Lyrics sang its way to $8 million, while spy drama Breach made $6.2 million.

Sinking down to eighth place, Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls hasn’t proved to be a moneymaker like his previous work. The film’s total gross of $25.6 million doesn’t even match what Madea’s Family Reunion took in during its first weekend.

Finally, two new releases arrived at the bottom of the charts, with Billy Bob Thornton’s The Astronaut Farmer making $4.5 million, and Michael Apted’s abolition period drama Amazing Grace grabbing an impressive $4.3 million – impressive considering that The Astronaut Farmer opened on 2,155 screens and Grace only saw the inside of 791 cinemas…