Dave Karger's weekend wrapup: Though the videogame-based flick ''Doom'' earned enough for No. 1, it still performed below expectations
Credit: DOOM: Keith Hamshere

What ever happened to the $20 million movie opening? A week after The Fog became the lowest-grossing No. 1 film in over a year, the videogame-inspired action flick Doom topped the charts with just $15.4 million this weekend, according to studio estimates.

You’d think a movie based on such a popular game — and featuring fan favorite Dwayne ”The Rock” Johnson — would have no trouble reaching $20 million in its first weekend, but Doom‘s so-so tally proves the point that many young male fans would rather be entertained by their PlayStations than a movie these days.

Second place went to the family drama Dreamer, starring Kurt Russell and Dakota Fanning. The horseracing film, which was marketed as a Seabiscuit for kids, premiered with an also mediocre $9.3 million. Meanwhile, the Wallace & Gromit film slipped just 25 percent in its third weekend to $8.7 million, bringing its total to $44 million.

Perhaps because the competition wasn’t too appealing to many moviegoers, The Fog fell 38 percent — considerably less than a horror movie’s typical second-weekend decline — to $7.3 million, while the new Charlize Theron film North Country managed only a $6.5 million despite generally positive reviews and much Oscar buzz for Theron. But at least it fared better than the weekend’s other new wide release, the psychological thriller Stay, starring Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, and Ryan Gosling. Thanks to its ultra-vague title and tough-to-describe plotline, the film, directed by Finding Neverland‘s Marc Forster, premiered in 13th place with only $2.2 million.

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