Each time I close my eyes I hear the faraway beating of drums and see the visions -- those visions of phantasms older than time itself that penetrate through my conscious mind and to the very core of my soul. It began three years ago, when the Ancient Ones emerged from the darkest depths of the sea to reclaim dominion over this world, which is older and more terrifying than the mind could theretofore comprehend. One of them called itself "Za'c Efron" -- but that was a crude approximation, for the human tongue cannot hope to speak the dread language of the Ancient Ones.

It was the children who first saw the visions. The dreams' cheerful, musical exterior obscured their sinister, unspeakable true nature, driving thousands to insanity and some to death. Toward the end, the children congregated in Temples -- perversely called "Theaters" by their bedeviled constructors -- to worship Za'c Efron, and 90 million dollars was spent. Even now, millions of children play and replay these awful sights in their very homes, paying further tribute. And still, having slumbered for untold millenia, Za'c Efron hungers for more. Always more.

Even now, restless crowds -- the children who remain, yes, but now adults and the old, too -- clamor through the dark streets to behold Za'c Efron's latest writhing triumph, an alien horror called 17 Again. In a mere three days, $24.1 million of tribute was collected, and all fell before Za'c Efron. Russell Crowe and State of Play were content with $14.1 million, and Crank: High Voltage received only $6.5 million, $4 million less than even the Crank that came three years ago. Such was the terrible power of the Ancient Ones -- the detestable gargoyles from the black sea of the cosmos who grip us and carry us, inexorably, toward madness.

With apologies to H.P. Lovecraft, check out the weekend top 10 after the jump.

1 - 17 Again (New Line) - $24.07 ($7,393) - $24.07
2 - State of Play (Universal) - $14.10 ($5,030) - $14.10
3 - Monsters vs. Aliens (Dreamworks Animation) - $12.90 ($3,523) - $162.72
4 - Hannah Montana: The Movie (Disney) - $12.67 ($4,062) - $56.13
5 - Fast & Furious (Universal) - $12.29 ($3,345) - $136.72
6 - Crank: High Voltage (Lionsgate) - $6.51 ($2,928) - $6.51
7 - Observe & Report (Warner Bros) - $4.06 ($1,487) - $18.69
8 - Knowing (Summit) - $3.48 ($1,446) - $73.70
9 - I Love You, Man (Dreamworks) - $3.37 ($1,530) - $64.66
10 - The Haunting in Connecticut (Lionsgate) - $3.15 ($1,397) - $51.92

Next week: The Soloist, Obsessed, Fighting and the expensive nature documentary Earth dare raise their voices to our new Overlord.