Underworld becomes Sony Pictures' eighth No. 1 opener this year. The thriller also replaces Remember the Titans as the fifth best September opening of all time, after Sweet Home Alabama, Rush Hour, Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Double Jeopardy.
Last week's box office champ, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, lost half its audience in its second week to place third with a so-so $11.5 million, while Cold Creek Manor rounded out the Top Five with a frosty $8.3 million.
Meanwhile, Woody Allen's latest comedy Anything Else, which opened in just over 1,000 theaters, failed to register in the Top Ten with its paltry $1.7 million. Making its mark, however, was Sofia Coppola's Lost In Translation, which raked in a notable $2.8 million at only 183 theaters, comfortably taking the No. 10 spot.
THE TOP TEN
Sony Picture's R rated supernatural thriller Underworld vanquished the competition at the box office in its debut weekend, taking the No. 1 spot with an ESTIMATED $22 million at 2,915 theaters with a per theater average of $7,547.
In the film, vampire warrior Selene finds herself at odds with the rest of her clan when she encounters a mysterious young man who may hold the secret to the war that has raged between vampires and werewolves for a thousand years.
New Line's PG rated family drama Secondhand Lions opened in second position with an ESTIMATED $12.1 million in $3,013 theaters ($4,273 per theater).
In the film, a sullen teen is forced to spend the summer with his grumpy old uncles, but life on their rundown Texas farm gets interesting after the eccentric seniors decide to make a man out of their nervous nephew.
Paramount Picture's PG-13 rated musical The Fighting Temptations premiered in third place with an ESTIMATED $11.7 million in 2,026 theaters ($6,516 per theater).
The film revolves around a slick-talking, city-dwelling ad exec who travels to his small hometown of Monte Carlo, Ga., to claim an inheritance.
Sony Pictures' R rated sequel Once Upon a Time in Mexico came in fourth place in its second week with an ESTIMATED $11.5 million (-51%) in 3,289 theaters (+ 7 theaters; $3,497 per theater). Its cume is approximately $41.4 million.
Buena Vista's R rated thriller Cold Creek Manor premiered in fifth place with an ESTIMATED $8.3 million at 2,035 theaters ($4,081 per theater).
In the film, a family moves into their country dream house to get away from the city but neglects to find out the sordid history of the house's former owner.
*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.
Warner Bros.' PG-13 rated drama Matchstick Men dropped four places in its second week to take the No. 6 position with an ESTIMATED $7.8 million (-40%) in 2,711 theaters (unchanged; $2,877 per theater). Its cume is approximately $24.4 million.
Lions Gate's R rated gore fest Cabin Fever slid four notches in its second week to place seventh with an ESTIMATED $3.9 million (-55%) in 2,105 theaters (+18 theaters; $1,853 per theater). Its cume is approximately $14.7 million.
Paramount Picture's PG-13 rated comedy Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star also slipped four positions in its third week to place eighth with an ESTIMATED $3.8 million (-24%) in 2,083 theaters (unchanged; $1,831 per theater). Its cume is approximately $17.3 million.
Buena Vista Pictures' PG-13 rated hit Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl fell four spots to ninth in its 11th week with an ESTIMATED $3.4 million (-23%) at 1,746 theaters (-283 theaters; $1,998 per theater). Its cume is approximately $292.5 million.
Focus Features' R rated dramatic comedy Lost In Translation rounded out the Top Ten in its second week with an ESTIMATED $2.8 million (+203%) in 183 theaters (+160 theaters; $15,337 per theater average). It cume is approximately $4.1 million.
Gaining remarkable word of mouth from favorable reviews, the film follows the unlikely friendship between a bored young wife and an aging movie star, both staying in a hotel in Tokyo.
DreamWorks' R-rated comedy Anything Else premiered with a soft ESTIMATED $1.7 million at 1,033 theaters, with a $1,646 per theater average.
The film revolves around an aspiring writer in New York who falls in love at first sight with a free-spirited younger woman.
The Top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $93.7 million, up a noteworthy 29.19 percent from last weekend, when they grossed $72.7 million. The Top 12 movies were also up 36.99 percent from this time last year when they took in $68.5 million.
Last year's top three included: MGM's riotous PG-13 rated Barbershop came in at No. 1 in its second week with $12.8 million in 1,894 theaters (+ 289 theaters; $6,767 per theater); Fox Searchlight's comedy The Banger Sisters premiered in second place with $10 million in 2,738 theaters ($3,666 per theater average); and the indie sleeper My Big Fat Greek Wedding, came in third in its 23rd week of release with $9.7 million at 1,853 theaters (+89 theaters; $5,261 per theater).