LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jodie Foster stayed aloft at the North American box office for a second weekend as her airplane thriller "Flightplan" outdistanced some low-flying competition and overall sales ended a four-week winning streak.
The Walt Disney Co. release sold $15 million worth of tickets in the three days beginning September 30, according to studio estimates issued on Sunday. The film's 10-day haul rose to $46.2 million, and industry observers believe it could add about $30 million by the time its run ends.
Foster stars as a mother who manages to lose her daughter aboard a transatlantic flight. The film generated some additional publicity last week when labor unions representing most of the nation's 90,000 flight attendants urged their members to boycott it since it portrays a stewardess and a U.S. air marshal as terrorists.
The top 10 contained three new releases, and one film entering the top tier in its second weekend.
"Serenity," a film based on the short-lived Western-flavored sci-fi TV series "Firefly," opened at No. 2 with $10.1 million, a figure within the modest expectations of its distributor, Universal Pictures. It marks the feature directing debut of "Firefly" creator Joss Whedon.
The animated fable " Tim Burton's Corpse Bride" slipped one place to No. 3 with $9.8 million in its second weekend of wide release. The total for the Warner Bros. release rose to $32.9 million.
"A History of Violence," a thriller starring Viggo Mortensen and Maria Bello as a small-town couple terrorized by some gangsters, jumped 14 places to No. 4 with $8.2 million in its first weekend of wide release. The New Line Cinema release was directed by Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg, and has earned $9 million after 10 days.
The surfing picture "Into the Blue," a showcase for the buff bodies of Jessica Alba and Paul Walker, wiped out at No. 5 with $7 million. The film was inherited by Columbia Pictures after its Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE - news). parent led a group that acquired the assets of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer earlier this year.
Disney's true-life golf saga "The Greatest Game Ever Played," about an amateur who defeated the defending champion at the 1913 U.S. Open, teed off at No. 9 with $3.8 million.
The best of the limited-release rookies was "Capote," a critically hailed picture starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as noted writer Truman Capote. The Sony Pictures Classics release grossed $349,000 from 12 theaters, and will expand nationwide on October 28.
Not so promising was "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio," starring Julianne Moore as a 1950s housewife who supports her large family by winning jingle-writing contests. The film, from closely held DreamWorks SKG, earned $155,000 from 41 theaters.
After four "up" weekends, overall sales were down from the year-ago period, according to tracking firm Exhibitor Relations. The top 12 films grossed $75.3 million, down 25 percent from last year, when the animated "Shark Tale" opened at No. 1 with $47.6 million.