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Exorcist Prequel Scares up Box Office

Despite having to be filmed twice and still turning out to be quite a mess, Warner Bros.' EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING had enough drawing power to win the weekend ended Aug. 22, 2004. The Renny Harlin version (with vfx by Pixel Magic, Proxima, Meteor Studios, Kleiser-Walczak) brought in $18M in its debut.

Paramount's WITHOUT A PADDLE debuted in second place with $13.5M, yet the prize-winning teen movie was handicapped with an R-rating. Coming in third in its second week was Buena Vista's THE PRINCESS DIARIES 2: ROYAL ENGAGEMENT. Fox's ALIEN VS. PREDATOR (with vfx by The Moving Picture Co., Cinesite (Europe), Double Negative and Framestore CFC), last week's winner, dropped 67% in its second weekend to number four. AVP captured $12.4M for a total of $62.9M. Lions Gate's shark-infested OPEN WATER climbed its way to number five with the addition of 2,654 theaters, reeling in $11.4M and boosting its total to $14.4M. DreamWorks' COLLATERAL slid to sixth place with $10.1M and a cume of $69.7M. Universal's THE BOURNE SUPREMACY (with vfx by ILM) took the seventh spot with $6.4M and $150.3M to date. Paramount's THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE settled for eighth place with $4M and a cume of $54.5M. Buena Vista's THE VILLAGE (also with vfx by ILM) fell to ninth with $3.7M and a total of $107M. Warner Bros.' YU-GI-OH! THE MOVIE plummeted to 10th in its second week with $3.2M and a total of $15.5M. Box office information obtained from

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Bill Desowitz, former editor of VFXWorld, is currently the Crafts Editor of IndieWire.