HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- The opening of spy thriller "The Recruit" edged "Final Destination 2" as it led the nation's box office with an estimated $16.5 million at 2,376 theaters during the Friday-Sunday period, studio sources said Sunday.
Pacino's last film, "Simone," was a disappointment with under $10 million in total gross but his previous, "Insomnia," performed well with $67.7 million by the end of its run.
New Line's opening of supernatural thriller "Final Destination 2," with Ali Larter, A.J. Cook and Tony Todd, came in a close second with $16.2 million at 2,834 sites. The sequel, which again explores the notion of premonition of disaster, will probably generate decent business for several more weeks and might be able to finish near the $53.3 million total of the original.
The weekend's other opener, DreamWorks' "Biker Boyz," starring Laurence Fishburne and Derek Luke, finished a distant third with $10.1 million at 1,766 theaters but its per-theater average of $5,736 was also slightly above that of "Final Destination 2," which played at 1,068 more locations.
"Boyz," a tale of competing motorcycle gangs, was aimed at the same audience that made "The Fast and the Furious" a surprise hit in 2001.
"The expectations on all the new films were not that high so it looks as if they performed reasonably well," said industry analyst Arthur Rockwell of Rockwell Capital Management. "They were able to reach their target audiences but not a lot more."
With the top three films combining for around $43 million and the top 10 taking in close to $86 million, overall weekend business was moderately healthy. The top 10 finished about $13 million ahead of the same weekend a year ago, when "Black Hawk Down" led with $11.1 million and moviegoing was dampened by the Super Bowl.
Warner Bros.' third weekend of "Kangaroo Jack" remained a strong draw for family audiences as it finished fourth with $9 million at 2,848 theaters to boost its 17-day total to $45.9 million. "Jack" declined only 22 percent from its second weekend.
Sony's second weekend of "Darkness Falls" followed in fifth with $7.5 million at 2,865 screens as it posted a 38 percent decline.
Miramax's sixth weekend of "Chicago" continued to take advantage of its frontrunner Oscar status and placed sixth with an impressive $7.1 million at 623 theaters to boost its total past $50 million. "Chicago," which led with five Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations last week, is expected take in the most Academy Awards nominations when they are announced Feb. 11.
A quartet of holdovers were battling for seventh place, led by New Line's "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" with $5 million at 2,175 theaters. "Towers" has totaled $315.9 million after 47 days, placing it ninth on the all-time list as it eclipsed "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" by $2.5 million.
20th Century Fox's fourth weekend of "Just Married" finished eighth with $4.9 million at 2,408 sites, followed by DreamWorks' sixth weekend of "Catch Me If You Can" with $4.8 million at 2,316 theaters to lift its total to $151.9 million. "Catch" is now 103rd on the all-time list just behind "Runaway Bride."
Rounding out the top 10 was New Line's eighth weekend of "About Schmidt" with $4.7 million at 1,236 theaters, edging Sony's third weekend of "National Security" with $4.5 million at 2,494 sites and Miramax's fifth weekend of "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" with $4.3 million at 1,776 locations.
Paramount's sixth weekend of its Oscar contender "The Hours" followed with $3.1 million at 548 theaters.
On the art-house circuit, Universal's limited opening of offbeat comedy "The Guru" performed well with $648,000 at 62 theaters. IFC's documentary "Lost in La Mancha" also debuted strongly with $57,600 at eight sites.
Business should remain healthy next weekend with three new comedies coming into the market -- Paramount's "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," with Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey, Disney's "Shanghai Knights," with Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson, and Focus Features' "Deliver Us From Eva," with LL Cool J and Gabrielle Union.