The top film at the box office last weekend, the teen warlock flick TheCovenant, drew less than $8.9 million-- the lowest figure for a No. 1 infilm in three years -- while the No. 2 film, Hollywoodland, whichstars Ben Affleck as George Reeves the actor who played Superman TV seriesin the 1950s, yielded only $5.9 million in ticket sales. The Covenantwas not screened for critics in advance of its opening. In the NewYork Daily News, critic Elizabeth Weitzman grieved, "Lately, every weekseems to bring a new movie so lousy, the studio refuses to show it tocritics in advance. This week's gem is The Covenant, Renny Harlin'sprofoundly mediocre supernatural thriller." Chris Hewitt's review in theSt. Paul Pioneer Press was headlined: "Beyond idiotic." And, notingthat the film is about descendants of the original Massachusetts witches,Kyle Smith in the New York Post at least got a terrific one-liner outof it all: "If this mild teen thriller were a cigarette, it would be a Salemlight."

The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled byExhibitor Relations (figures in parentheses represent total gross todate):
1. The Covenant, Screen Gems, $8,852,485, (New); 2.Hollywoodland, Focus Features, $5,926,177, (New); 3. Invincible,Disney, $5,630,126, 3 Weeks, ($45,500,634); 4. The Protector, Weinstein Co.$5,034,180, (New); 5. Crank, Lionsgate, $4,904,308, 2 Weeks,($19,962,812); 6. The Illusionist, Yari Film Group, $4,514,306, 4Weeks, ($17,963,845); 7. Little Miss Sunshine, Fox Searchlight,$4,273,545, 7 Weeks, ($41,494,873); 8. The Wicker Man, Warner Bros.,$4,062,271, 2 Weeks, ($17,433,396); 9. Talladega Nights: The Ballad ofRicky Bobby, Sony, $3,012,596, 6 Weeks, ($142,193,465); 10.Barnyard, Paramount, $2,715,092, 6 Weeks, ($67,014,342).




12/09/2006