Clever, albeit misleading, marketing tactics helped Screen Gems’ "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" rakes in a rather impressive $30.2 million (from nearly 3,000 screens) at the weekend box office. The courtroom occult flick was expected to snag the #1 spot at the box office, but one doubts that Sony was expecting a haul over $18 – $25 million. "Emily"’s haul stands as the third highest September opening ever, after "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Rush Hour."
Holding on chastely in second place was the sleeper hit "The 40 Year-Old Virgin," which added another $7.9 million to its grand total of $82.3 million. ("Virgin" has been in the Top 2 since the weekend it was released.) Dropping to third place was Fox’s action-fest "Transporter 2," which kicked another $7.2 million into its $30.1 million piggy bank.
Rounding out the top 5 were Focus Features’ "The Constant Gardener" ($4.8 million weekend; $19.1 million total) and DreamWorks’ Wes Craven thriller "Red Eye" ($4.6 million weekend; $51.3 million total). New Line’s buddy comedy "The Man" entered theaters in 6th place with a total of $4 million from 2,040 theaters, which means there most likely won’t be a sequel.
Next week sees the unleashing of several new wide releases, including Lions Gates’ Nic Cage action flick "Lord of War," DreamWorks’ rom-com "Just Like Heaven," and a pair of warring horror flicks: Focus’ "Cry Wolf" and Dimension’s "Venom."
As always, please do click right here to visit the Rotten Tomatoes Box Office Page, which will give you a much more detailed look at the weekend ticket-sales numerals.