Dead vanquished by Scooby-Doo
16:49 29 March 2004
"Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed" has knocked "Dawn of the Dead" from the top of the US box office charts.
The second film starring the cartoon dog, along with husband and wife team Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr, took $30.7 million (16 million) in its first weekend, beating off challenges from fellow debutants "The Ladykillers" and "Jersey Girl".
The success of Scooby's second outing was less impressive than his first film, which took $54.1 million in its opening weekend.
"The Passion of the Christ" rose ahead of "Dawn of the Dead" to take third spot in the list.
Mel Gibson's biblical gore-fest has now taken over $315 million, it is comfortably within the US top 20 biggest ever earners, and is closing in on the $375 million grossed by "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King".
"The Ladykillers", second place with $13 million, is the worst box office debut by Tom Hanks for 17 years, but the best ever opening for writer-directors Joel and Ethan Coen.
"Ladykillers" is a remake of the 1955 Ealing comedy starring Alec Guinness.
Fifth placed "Jersey Girl" sees Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez take to the screen again, but cult director Kevin Smith hopes people will not be put off by their last outing "Gigli" - which recently won an 'award' for being the worst film of 2003.
The top ten in full:
1 - Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
2 - The Ladykillers
3 - The Passion of the Christ
4 - Dawn of the Dead
5 - Jersey Girl
6 - Taking Lives
7 - Starsky & Hutch
8 - Hidalgo
9 - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
10 - Secret Window