LOS ANGELES -- Death-by-videotape brought box-office life to "The Ring," a horror flick that scared up $15 million to debut as the weekend's No. 1 movie.
Starring Naomi Watts as a reporter investigating a video whose viewers die horribly a week after watching it, "The Ring" knocked off "Red Dragon," which had been the top film for two straight weekends.
"Red Dragon" fell to third place with $8.8 million during the weekend, while "Sweet Home Alabama" remained the No. 2 film with $9.6 million.
The weekend's other new wide releases fared poorly. Katie Holmes' psychological thriller "Abandon" opened weakly with $5.06 million, finishing in seventh place. Samuel L. Jackson's crime caper "Formula 51" bombed with $2.8 million, coming in at No. 12.
The overall box office rose slightly. The top 12 movies took in $74.2 million, up 2 percent from the same weekend last year.
It was Hollywood's sixth straight weekend of rising revenues and a promising lead-in to the busy holiday season, which starts next month with "The Santa Clause 2" and "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets."
"People just keep going to the movies," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations.
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