'Scooby 2' Runs with the Big Dogs

03/29/2004 AT 10:26 AM EST

An animated Great Dane and a cast of teen-friendly actors managed to scare up a sizable weekend audience for "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed," the Associated Press reports.

The sequel to 2002's "Scooby-Doo" took in more than $30 million at the box office -- a good paycheck but far short of the $54 million the original made during its first three days.

The film, which stars Matthew Lillard, Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar and Linda Cardellini, mixes computer-generated animation with live action. Rather than release the film later in the year against stronger titles such as "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" and "Shrek 2," Warner Bros. released the film during this traditionally slower time at the box office.

Also new in theaters, the latest film by the Coen brothers managed a respectable weekend. "The Ladykillers," starring Tom Hanks, finished in the second spot, with $13 million. A remake of the 1955 film, "Ladykillers" was the strongest Coen brothers' debut yet, following last year's "Intolerable Cruelty" with George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

"The Passion of the Christ" held on in third place, and Mel Gibson's controversial film of the last 12 hours of Christ's life is expected to draw big audiences through the Easter holiday.

Finishing ahead of expectations was director Kevin Smith's romantic comedy "Jersey Girl," starring Ben Affleck, with a cameo appearance by Jennifer Lopez. The film, which finished in fifth place with more than $8 million in box-office receipts, had drawn widespread speculation based on Affleck and Lopez's big-screen disaster "Gigli." That film, released at the height of the pair's romantic coupling, was a critical and financial bomb. "Jersey Girl" looked to escape both distinctions, taking in more money during its first weekend than "Gigli" earned during its entire theatrical run.

Here is a list of the top 10 movies, as compiled by Exhibitor Relations:

1. "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed," $30.7 million
2. "The Ladykillers," $13 million
3. "The Passion of the Christ," $12.5 million
4. "Dawn of the Dead," $10.3 million
5. "Jersey Girl," $8.3 million
6. "Taking Lives," $6.5 million
7. "Starsky & Hutch," $6.3 million
8. "Hidalgo," $5.43 million
9. "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," $5.42 million
10. "Secret Window," $5.4 million

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