A poorly-reviewed movie easily fought its way to the top of the weekend box office. That's almost standard practice for big-budget Hollywood studio product, but is quite unusual for an indie film. Joshua Seftel's comedy / drama War, Inc. (First Look) earned $17,650 per screen at two locations, according to estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo, despite receiving mostly negative reviews -- Rotten Tomatoes pegged the critics at only 24% positive. Writing for Cinematical, Joel Keller described it as "an ambitious film that fails miserably at everything it attempts to be." John Cusack co-wrote and stars along with Marisa Tomei, Joan Cusack, Ben Kingsley and Hilary Duff.

Roger Spottiswoode's drama The Children of Huang Shi (Sony Pictures Classics) did not fare any better with our critic, Nick Schager, who felt that the film is "a TV movie in disguise, a handsomely staid affair that prefers skin-deep elegance to psychological or historical substance." Jonathan Rhys Meyers stars as a reporter that helped a school of orphaned children in 1937 China; Chow Yun-Fat plays a rebel and Radha Mitchell a nurse. Opening at seven theaters, The Children of Huang Shi averaged $6,036 per screen.

Good returns were also enjoyed by Joachim Trier's Reprise (Miramax), which expanded to 14 theaters in its second week and took in $6,614 per screen, and Claude Lelouch's Roman de Gare (Samuel Goldwyn), which added 11 more locations in its fifth week and increased nicely to $4,485 per screen.