Tom cruises to the top of the US Box office

He might still be big overseas - pulling in more than $70 million internationally, but the writing was clearly on the wall for Tom Cruise. Mission: Impossible III, despite generally good reviews and a blizzard of advertising, only made $48 million at the Stateside box office this weekend. Now, while $48 million would make most of us regular types rich beyond our dreams, it’s not the sort of figure that Paramount and Cruise - who sliced money from his fee in return for a share of the profits - will have been dreaming about. To compare, M:i-2 launched with $57 million back in 2000, though admittedly that got a boost from an extra day across a holiday weekend.

It still means that Tom’s Number One, even if his record of being a sure fire film “opener” is looking somewhat tarnished. There was better news for Robin Williams and Barry Sonnenfeld, whose RV (or, as it’ll be known in the UK, RV: Recreation Vehicle) slipped just 31% to grab $11 million in its second weekend. This week’s second launch, however, An American Haunting, found itself hamstrung by mixed reviews and rustled up just $6.4 million.

Gymnastics comedy drama Stick It made fourth place (with a 4.5 from the Romanian judge), taking $5.5 million, just edging out United 93, which slipped to fifth place with $5.2 million. The juggernaut that is Ice Age: The Meltdown just won’t give up, actually rising a place to sixth and a weekly total of $4 million.

Lower down the charts, Silent Hill managed seventh place and now has $41 million in its domestic coffers. One lower, but with a much healthier overall gross was Scary Movie 4, having earned more than $83 million in the US alone. Akeelah And The Bee continued a lacklustre showing, snagging just $3.4 million in its second week, which was equal to environmental crusaders movie Hoot. Obviously America’s kids were more eager to watch extinct cartoon mammoths than endangered cute owls, since Hoot began its chart life at a dismal tenth place.

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