The victory of Sony/Screen Gems's The Messengers at the box office last weekend marked the seventh consecutive Super Bowl weekend that a Sony Pictures film had nabbed the lead, the Los Angeles Times observed today (Tuesday). Like this year, three other years starting in 2001 were led by horror flicks, including last year's When a Stranger Calls. "Super Bowl weekend is kind of a party weekend, and these kinds of films get the party started," Sony distribution chief Rory Bruer told the newspaper. As usual for horror films, slightly more than half the audience was under 21 and female. The film took in $14.7 million. In second place was another female-skewing film, Because I Said So, starring Diane Keaton. Its audience turned out to be 82 percent female and 61 percent over the age of 30. It took in $13.1 million.

The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Media by Numbers (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date):
1. The Messengers, Sony/Screen Gems, $14,713,321, (New); 2. Because I Said So, Universal, $13,122,865, (New); 3. Epic Movie, 20th Century Fox, $8,411,993, 2 Wks. ($29,555,556); 4. Night at the Museum, 20th Century Fox, $6,385,843, 6 Wks. ($225,001,335); 5. Smokin' Aces, Universal, $6,113,345, 2 Wks. ($24,744,300); 6. Stomp the Yard, Screen Gems, $4,055,791, 4 Wks. ($55,857,184); 7. Dreamgirls, Paramount, $4,000,521, 7 Wks. ($92,748,249); 8. Pan's Labyrinth, Picture House, $3,682,699, 6 Wks. ($21,715,849); 9. The Pursuit of Happyness, Sony, $2,966,454, 7 Wks. ($157,217,102); 10. The Queen, Miramax, $2,650,134, 18 Wks. ($45,461,958).