10 movies not screened for critics

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Audiences don't care what the critics say, and, increasingly, neither do Hollywood studios, who withheld a record number of movies from pre-release screenings this year. Last year, there were 11 movies in that category; this year, the number swelled to 27.

1 "big momma's house 2"

Martin Lawrence in an old-lady fat suit-what's not to love? Critics hated it. Audiences disagreed, to the tune of a $27.7 million opening weekend.

2 "Silent Hill"

Sony's low-budget horror film made hay with a campaign that positioned it as a child-in-peril story to draw in women. Extra points for the print ads featuring the girl's mouthless face. The movie opened first at the box office with $20.1 million.

3 "Madea's Family Reunion"

Filmmaker Tyler Perry takes his movies straight to a higher power, marketing them through churches, pastors and faith groups, landing hit after hit by doing so. "Madea" made for a paltry $6 million, opened to a stunning $30 million.

4 "Snakes on a Plane"

Even though it failed to live up to its deafening internet-driven pre-release hype, the Samuel L. Jackson thriller still landed at No. 1 on its opening weekend with $13.8 million. It went on to score $59.3 million worldwide during its run.

5 "Underworld: Evolution"

Female characters haven't been the biggest drivers in sci-fi movies, but research showed Sony's Screen Gems that audiences had latched onto Kate Beckinsale's vampire slayer. The film reaped a $26.8 million opening.

6 "When a Stranger Calls"

Mall rats have no recollection of the original, so they were receptive to this remake. It was picked apart by critics who remember the original but apparently are too feeble to recall how bad it was. It opened at No. 1 with $21.6 million.

7 "Date Movie"

Sophomoric satires like this one usually get savaged by the critics, so Fox avoided them and went straight to the heart of the goofy-movie-loving demographic: teens. It was rewarded with a $19 million opening.

8 "The Grudge 2"

Critics often bag on horror flicks, and this sequel was no exception. Moviegoers, particularly the young females who drive much of the horror box office, turned out to support Amber Tamblyn's starring turn. It opened at No. 1 with $20.8 million.

9 "The Benchwarmers"

In this goofball comedy, Jon Lovitz, David Spade and Jon Heder gave young audiences what they want-mindless laughs, and it gave the studio a $19.6 million opening.

10 "Stay Alive"

Another horror flick that pulled in a respectable $10.7 million at its opening despite being made with a cast of relative unknowns who stumble on a video game that if you play, you die.
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