''Thirteen Ghosts'' spooks ''From Hell'' and ''Riding in Cars with Boys'' to take the No. 2 spot
Kevin Spacey, K-Pax

Talk about out of this world. Kevin Spacey’s alien dramedy ”K-PAX” topped the box office charts this weekend with an impressive $17.5 million, according to estimates.

Thanks to the combined star power of Spacey and Jeff Bridges and a smart marketing campaign that stressed the film’s otherworldly, feel-good element, ”K-PAX” easily beat the performance of Spacey’s last film, ”Pay It Forward,” which opened with $9.6 million last fall. Though not entirely praised by critics, ”K-PAX,” about a man who claims to be from another planet, was received much better than ”Forward” was, which only helped its case at the ticket counters.

Close behind in second place was the horror thriller ”Thirteen Ghosts,” starring ”American Pie”’s Shannon Elizabeth as a member of a family that inherits a haunted house. Though some analysts expected it to place first, its $15.7 million take is similar to that of the recent Halloween entry ”The House on Haunted Hill” (are we sensing a trend here?), which debuted with $15.9 million.

Last week’s top two films dropped two notches this week. The Johnny Depp thriller ”From Hell” fell 45 percent to $6.1 million, a typical drop for a horror film, while Drew Barrymore’s motherhood drama ”Riding in Cars with Boys” dropped 42 percent to $6 million. Denzel Washington’s hit ”Training Day,” meanwhile, fell to fifth place with $5.1 million.

The weekend’s two other semi-wide releases failed to attract big audiences. The Snoop Dogg drama ”Bones” placed ninth with $3 million, while the romantic comedy ”On the Line,” starring Lance Bass and Joey Fatone from the record-selling pop group ‘N Sync, couldn’t even break the top 10, coming in 11th with a measly $2.3 million. Even Mariah Carey’s ”Glitter” did better than that.

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