The Covenant conjures up a US box office win

When the film that tops the box office charts does so with less than $10 million, you know it’s not a weekend that the studios will be looking fondly back on.

Still, it’s a win, and Renny Harlin will be happy that The Covenant – his tale of four blokes descended from wizards who discover a terrible dark secret – won the weekend with $9 million.

That put it ahead of the underperforming Hollywoodland, which stars Ben Affleck, Adrien Brody and Diane Lane. The historical Hollywood drama made $6 million this weekend, taking second place. Perhaps word that Affleck just scooped the acting award at the Venice film festival will draw some word of mouth. In third we find Mark Wahlberg and Invincible, which, with $5.7 million, has now scored a total of $45.6 million in the US, following two weeks at the top.

Fourth place went to Tony Jaa’s latest film, The Protector, which some have been complaining is a far less impressive edited version of Tom Yum Goong. But before anyone starts having flashbacks to the Shaolin Soccer controversy, this one sounds more like a reheated Ong Bak, with less decent fighting action. It managed $5 million.

Jumping down the charts, kicking some of the other films and racing a car off a bridge is Crank, Jason Statham’s all-action thriller. It dropped to fifth place and nabbed $4.8 million. Down one place, but still able to draw audiences is The Illusionist, currently standing at an $18 million total. Also still performing well is Little Miss Sunshine, which charmed $4.4 million from America this weekend.

Less charming and with far less reason to celebrate is The Wicker Man at eighth. With just $4 million to show for the weekend, it’s only made $17.4 million so far. Which puts it way behind the current champion comedy, Talladega Nights, which continues to linger in the charts and turns up at ninth with $3 million. Ricky Bobby now owns $142.1 million in the US alone. We reckon he’s spent it on barbecue supplies.

Finally, hanging on in the top ten for one last week is Barnyard: The Original Part Animals. In between bouts of human tipping, America’s children have been enjoying the behaviour of the talking cows, pigs and sheep. The film is up to $66 million and will likely make a killing on DVD…

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