It would be nice to be able to say that the Coens are finally getting some drawing power, but I suspect the insane cast of Burn After Reading -- Pitt, Clooney, Malkovich, Swinton, McDormand -- had something to do with its exceptionally strong $19.4 million bow, the Coens' strongest ever. It barely beat out The Family That Preys, which opened to $18.02 -- slightly below par for Tyler Perry, though still nabbing the highest per-screen average in the top 10 on just over 2000 screens.

The third-place, $16.5 million take for Righteous Kill seems about right: a compromise between the draw of De Niro and Pacino, and the toxic buzz surrounding the film. As for The Women, $10 million isn't exactly gangbusters, but probably more than Picturehouse had any right to expect given that the movie came out of nowhere.

Anna Faris's The House Bunny has turned into a minor hit; it took a 22% drop from last weekend, and has passed the $40 million mark. Not bad for a late-August release with no real star power. Bangkok Dangerous is dead in the water, dropping from 4th to 8th place; it will top out at around $15 million.

And I can't resist noting what happened to Proud American, the patriotic half-doc that was dumped into 750 screens this weekend by Slowhand Cinema. It landed below the top 25, with $135,000 and a $180 per-screen average. That's for the whole weekend. If you take $6.50 as an average ticket price (a bit below the actual average, but probably reasonable given that the interest for this film was probably not in major metropolitan markets), that's comes out to an awesome 28 people per theater, and around 2 people per show. Whoo!

The full estimates after the jump.
1 - Burn After Reading (Focus) - $19.40 ($7,319) - $19.40
2 - Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys (Lionsgate) - $18.02 ($8,705) - $18.02
3 - Righteous Kill (Overture) - $16.50 ($5,234) - $16.50
4 - The Women (Picturehouse) - $10.09 ($3,405) - $10.09
5 - The House Bunny (Columbia) - $4.30 ($1,556) - $42.15
6 - Tropic Thunder (Paramount) - $4.18 ($1,428) - $102.97
7 - The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.) - $4.02 ($1,832) - $517.68
8 - Bangkok Dangerous (Lionsgate) - $2.40 ($904) - $12.53
9 - Traitor (Overture) - $2.13 ($1,058) - $20.74
10 - Death Race (Universal) - $2.02 ($1,004) - $33.19

Box Office Mojo rocks the numbers.

Next weekend's dicey, with My Best Friend's Girl, Lakeview Terrace, and Igor going wide, and Ghost Town hitting about 1400 screens. I'm afraid that My Best Friend's Girl, which appears to be the worst film ever made, may emerge victorious.