HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- The opening of vampire thriller "Queen of the Damned" easily won a moderate national box office with an estimated $15.2 million at 2,511 theaters during the Friday-Sunday period, studio sources said Sunday.
The Warner Bros. release, based on an Anne Rice story, performed in line with expectations as it debuted amid mixed reviews and the absence of similar rivals in the marketplace. "Queen" stars the late singer Aaliyah, who died last year in a plane crash.
New Line's second weekend of "John Q" finished second with $12.5 million at 2,505 theaters as the drama lost 38 percent from its opening Friday-Saturday. "John Q" has now taken in close to $40 million in its first 10 days and should continue to benefit from star Denzel Washington's Oscar nomination for "Training Day."
Universal's opening of "Dragonfly," a supernatural romance starring Kevin Costner, placed third with a lukewarm $10.4 million at 2,507 sites. The film, with Costner portraying a doctor who believes his dead wife may be trying to contact him, received mixed reviews and will have a tough time becoming profitable.
With the conclusion of the Winter Olympics as a major distraction, studios opened only two films after launching five during the previous weekend. Overall business was modest with the top 10 taking around $80 million, but that was 14 percent above the same weekend last year when the third weekend of "Hannibal" led with $15.8 million.
For the year to date, revenues are equal with the same point last year at $1.2 billion.
Disney's second weekend of animated sequel "Return to Never Land" finished a respectable fourth with $9 million at 2,626 theaters with only a 24 percent decline from its opening Friday-Sunday. Paramount's second weekend of Britney Spears' "Crossroads" followed with $7.1 million at 2,381 sites to push the 10-day gross past $26 million.
Universal's third weekend of "Big Fat Liar" continued to hold up well in sixth with $6.7 million at 2,437 theaters as the comedy dropped only 23 percent from its second weekend. The studio's 10th weekend of "A Beautiful Mind" followed with $5.2 million at 2,069 locations as the drama remained a significant draw following its eight Oscar nominations.
MGM continued to post disappointing numbers for its costly "Hart's War" with $4.6 million at 2,459 theaters in eighth place to decline 41 percent from its opening weekend. Fox Searchlight's second weekend of "Super Troopers" followed with $3.9 million at 1,805 sites.
The third weekend of Warner's "Collateral Damage" came in 10th with $3.73 million at 2,410 theaters as the action-adventure lost 56 percent from the second weekend. "Damage," which opened in first two weeks ago with $15.1 million, has taken in less than $35 million in 17 days and looks likely to disappear soon.
Four other films were vying for the 10th spot, led by Sony's ninth weekend of "Black Hawk Down" with $3.7 million at 1,802 sites. "Hawk" has grossed $101.4 million overall, making it the 245th film to top $100 million in domestic receipts.
New Line's 10th weekend of "Lord of the Rings," which received 13 Oscar nominations, followed with $3.6 million at 1,510 sites to lift its total to $283.3 million. It is the 14th highest domestic grosser of all time and trails "Home Alone" by less than $3 million.
Disney's sixth weekend of "Snow Dogs" came in 13th with $3.5 million at 2,194 theaters and its fifth weekend of "The Count of Monte Cristo" took 14th with $3.2 million at 1,358 theaters.