Movie-goers continued to keep their eyes on the Peeping Tom thriller "Disturbia," which fended off a weak batch of newcomers to remain No. 1 for the third straight weekend with $9.1 million.
The movie business seemed to be on hold in anticipation of a huge summer that begins this week with Sony's "Spider-Man 3." The top-12 movies took in an anemic $62.9 million, down 30 percent from the same weekend last year, when "RV" was the No. 1 movie with $16.4 million.
DreamWorks and Paramount's "Disturbia," starring Shia LaBeouf as a house-bound teen whose surveillance of neighbors uncovers a killer, raised its total to $52.2 million after three weekends, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Disney's supernatural thriller "The Invisible" turned in the best performance among the weekend's ho-hum debuts, taking in $7.6 million to open at No. 2. The movie centers on a teen trying to solve his own murder while trapped in a nether zone between life and death.
Paramount's "Next," starring Nicolas Cage as a man whose ability to see into the future is exploited by federal agents trying to stop a terrorist nuclear attack, premiered at No. 3 with $7.2 million.
Lionsgate's "The Condemned," with wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin as one of 10 Death Row inmates dropped on an island to fight to the death for an Internet reality show, debuted in ninth-place with $4 million.
Yari Film Group's comedy "Kickin' It Old Skool," starring Jamie Kennedy as a man who wakes from a 20-year coma and tries to revive his break-dancing career, opened at No. 11 with $2.8 million.
Though movie attendance is up 1.2 percent so far this year compared to last, Hollywood has been in a lull in recent weeks as a huge crop of summer films looms, including Friday's premiere of "Spider-Man 3," followed closely by DreamWorks Animation's "Shrek the Third" and Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End."
"I think people are just absolutely ready for a big summer movie," said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony. "You can see by the box office over the last few weekends, they're ready, and it's been a long time coming. I do anticipate it's going to be an incredible weekend for us."
"Spider-Man" took in $114.8 million in its first weekend in 2002, a three-day opening that remained an all-time high until "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" set a new record last summer with $132 million.
In 2004, "Spider-Man 2" opened on a Wednesday before a long four-day Fourth of July weekend and took in a record $180.1 million in its first six days.
"This was an incredibly slow weekend. To have a top movie come in under $10 million just shows how the marketplace is in a holding pattern," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers. "It'll all be made up next weekend with 'Spider-Man 3."'
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Media By Numbers LLC. Final figures will be released Monday.
1. "Disturbia," $9.1 million.
2. "The Invisible," $7.6 million.
3. "Next," $7.2 million.
4. "Fracture," $7.1 million.
5. "Blades of Glory," $5.2 million.
6. "Meet the Robinsons," $4.84 million.
7. "Hot Fuzz," $4.8 million.
8. "Vacancy," $4.2 million.
9. "The Condemned," $4 million.
10. "Are We Done Yet?", $3.4 million.