According to The Hollywood Reporter, four new wide releases were thrown into an already crowded marketplace this weekend, but Buena Vista's The Village, from director M. Night Shyamalan, blasted through the boxoffice gridlock to firmly establish itself in the top spot. "Village" generated an estimated $50.8 million, the second-biggest opening for Shyamalan after the $60.1 million debut of Signs in 2002.

The opening of "Village" also ended a long drought for Buena Vista, marking the first time in more than a year that the distributor had a film in first place. The last time Buena Vista had a film in the top spot was July 2003 with Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

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In the battle for second place, Universal's The Bourne Supremacy just edged out Paramount's The Manchurian Candidate, with an estimated $23.4 million, down 56% from its debut. With both films aiming at a similar demographic,

"Bourne" was expected to take a hit this weekend. The Matt Damon starrer has taken an estimated $98 million in 10 days. "Candidate" debuted with enough votes to land in the third slot, collecting an estimated $20.2 million. The Denzel Washington starrer, from director Jonathan Demme, opened in the area expected heading into the frame.

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