Though Mission: Impossible III easily topped the weekend box office with $48 million from over 4000 screens -- the fourth-widest launch ever -- the film's opening is far short of both what was expected (in the $60 million range) and what the first two installments in the series made in their debuts. Whatever the reason for the relatively low open (Are people turned off by Tom Cruise? Nikki Finke is not alone in thinking so.), studios must be a little nervous about this kind of result for the summer's first "blockbuster," particularly given that the movie was fairly well reviewed.

Though it probably won't make the people at Paramount feel any better, the weekend's two other debuts were much, much worse, particularly that of Hoot. Despite opening on over 3000 screens, the Carl Hiaasen adaptation made only $3.4 million with just over $1000/screen -- barely enough to get it into the top 10 (it ended up tied for ninth with Akeelah and the Bee). An American Haunting, meanwhile, finished third with $6.4 million. Holding onto the second slot was RV, which made $11.1 million in its second week of release. Stick it and United 93 rounded out the top five, pulling in $5.5 million and $5.2 million, respectively; in its two weeks of release, United 93 is already in the black with about $20 million against a $15 million budget. The full top 10 is after the jump.