Studios and entertainment analysts were doing some Monday morning quarterbacking yesterday over the failure of New Line's Snakes on a Plane to live up to expectations. Although it had been predicted to earn around $30 million -- largely as a result of "viral" Internet hype -- it ended up slinking off with about half that amount -- $15.2 million, including its earnings from 10:00 p.m. screenings on Thursday. Daily Variety, which was among those predicting a $30-million take, said that the results revealed "that what's important to the Internet crowd is not necessarily of interest to the general population." Similarly, Lew Harris, editorial director for Disney-owned, told the Associated Press, "The buzz starts feeding on itself. People then start thinking this is appealing to a larger audience than it was." Today's (Tuesday) Los Angeles Daily News pointed out that what was overlooked in all the industry hand-wringing over the disappointing performance of SOAP, was that Disney's Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest continued its remarkable performance, taking in an additional $5.2 million and becoming only the seventh movie in history to pass the $400-million mark. It also crossed the $500-million mark overseas to bring its worldwide gross to $922.7 million.

The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Exhibitor Relations (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date):
1 Snakes on a Plane, New Line, $15,206,301, (New); 2. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Sony, $13,755,387, 3 Wks. ($114,341,263); 3. World Trade Center, Paramount, $10,901,350, 2 Wks. ($45,105,868); 4. Step Up, Disney, $10,157,605, 2 Wks. ($39,738,435); 5. Accepted, Universal, $10,023,835, (New); 6. Barnyard, Paramount, $7,581,622, 3 Wks. ($46,088,273); 7. Little Miss Sunshine, Fox Searchlight, $5,610,845, 4 Wks. ($12,692,059); 8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Disney, $5,212,351, 7 Wks. ($401,253,092); 9. Material Girls, MGM, $4,603,121, (New); 10. Pulse, Weinstein Co. $3,519,889, 2 Wks. ($14,695,988).