February 07, 2005 08:00 AM

It turned out to be not such a scary weekend at the box office for Hollywood despite the top draw of Boogeyman, a no-name film that grossed nearly $20 million in its first weekend out.

The low-budget flick was not previewed for film critics – usually a sure sign that the studio thinks the film will get poor reviews. But that did not keep faithful horror fans away, many of whom may have seen trailers for Boogeyman during screenings of last fall’s The Grudge. Both movies were made by the same company.

Another frightening flick, Hide and Seek starring Robert De Niro, earned nearly $9 million and finished in the fourth spot.

“I certainly believe it’s a genre where people are going to be more moved by the marketing materials they see for the movie than by what the critics say,” Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony Pictures, tells the Associated Press.

The Wedding Date, a romantic comedy starring Will & Grace’s Debra Messing, finished in the second spot, and another comedy, Ice Cube’s Are We There Yet? took the third spot.

Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast did not appear to keep fans away from theaters either. The top 12 movies took in $91 million this year, compared with only $73.4 million last year.

Here are the weekend’s top 10 films, according to studio estimates:

1. Boogeyman, $19.5 million
2. The Wedding Date, $11 million
3. Are We There Yet? $10.4 million
4. Hide and Seek, $8.9 million
5. Million Dollar Baby, $8.8 million
6. The Aviator, $5.4 million
7. Meet the Fockers, $5 million
8. Sideways, $4.8 million
9. Racing Stripes, $4.43 million
10. Coach Carter, $4.4 million

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