Weekend Box Office (January 7 - 9, 2000)

** Read the NEW Studio Spotlight 1999 Year-end Wrapup **

THIS´┐ŻWEEKEND Moviegoers opted to see existing holiday leftovers as the top six films remained the same as last weekend despite playing musical chairs. A handful of late-year dramas expanded into nationwide runs and witnessed mixed results. The plethora of titles allowed for tremendous breadth as 17 films grossed more than $1M each over the Friday-to-Sunday frame. The leading movies all experienced small declines helping to drive a box office running on the strength of holiday hits.

Once again, Stuart Little led the box office derby with $11.2M in ticket sales, according to final studio figures, in its fourth weekend of play. The Sony family hit has topped the charts three of those four periods and has scurried away with a fantastic $95.3M to date. Look for Little to hit the big $100M mark by the end of the week.

Warner Bros. saw a small decline for its drama The Green Mile which rose two spots to second place. Down only 17%, the Tom Hanks jail tale grossed $9.7M giving it $91.3M thus far and a good chance of crossing the century mark next weekend.

The devious Matt Damon found himself in the number three spot again with The Talented Mr. Ripley which grossed $9.3M in its third weekend of release. The Paramount drama dropped 25% and boosted its total to $54.2M with a solid $4,025 average.

Al Pacino's Any Given Sunday scored $8.8M (off 25%) pushing its cume to $59.2M. The fourth place film is well on its way to becoming one of the top grossing titles ever for Pacino and director Oliver Stone.

The family films Galaxy Quest and Toy Story 2 followed with weekend sales of $8M and $7.2M respectively. The DreamWorks sci-fi comedy displayed considerable stamina by slipping just 17% and has taken in $38.5M so far. The lack of science fiction stories this winter seems to have helped the Tim Allen-Sigourney Weaver picture. Toy Story 2 has zoomed to $219.7M making it the second highest-grossing animated film in history after The Lion King's $312.9M.

Paul T. Anderson's critically acclaimed picture Magnolia finally debuted in wide release and placed seventh with $5.7M. Promoted as a touching story with many glimpses of Tom Cruise, the New Line release averaged a solid $5,507 which was the best in the top ten. Adding in revenue from limited engagements, Magnolia has grossed $6.6M to date. However, the actual weekend take was a hefty $900,000 less than the $6.6M that New Line originally estimated on Sunday.

Bicentennial Man snagged $5.3M while Deuce Bigalow made $5M. The Robin Williams family film has reached a cume of $47.2M while the more profitable Rob Schneider comedy slid a slim 13% putting it at an arousing $54.1M after its fifth weekend.

The Ethan Hawke romance Snow Falling on Cedars moved into nationwide release over the weekend and grossed $3.9M from 1,150 locations. The Universal title averaged a mediocre $3,400 per site and has collected $4.1M to date.

Dropping out of the top ten were two star vehicles that have underperformed at the box office this holiday season. Fox's Anna and the King, starring Jodie Foster and Chow Yun-Fat, took in $3.6M putting its cume at $30.9M to date. The $75M+ romantic adventure looks to complete its domestic run with about $40-45M. Jim Carrey's portrayal of Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon attracted $3.3M over the weekend giving the Universal release $30.2M overall. The $52M tale should also conclude with around $40-45M.

Miramax's The Cider House Rules widened into 816 locations and brought in $3.1M giving it $8.2M so far. The picture's per-theater average of $3,776 was not very special.

Disney's IMAX film Fantasia 2000 enjoyed its first full weekend of release by taking in $2.6M on only 54 screens nationwide. The animated film's $47,958 per-theater average was by far the best for any picture and boosted the nine-day sum to a superb $6.9M.

Universal's The Hurricane delivered a mighty blow to the box office grossing $2.5M over the weekend as it expanded into 159 theaters. The true story of a wrongly imprisoned boxer averaged a socko $15,920 per theater and lifted the cume to $3.2M. The Hurricane's performance so far has been exemplary and bodes well for its national release on Friday.

Compared to projections, Stuart Little came close to my $10M forecast while The Talented Mr. Ripley performed better than my $7.5M prediction. Magnolia came near my $7M projection while Snow Falling on Cedars was on target with my $4M forecast. The Cider House Rules and The Hurricane also were very close to my respective predictions of $3M and $2.5M.

Read the annual Box Office Guru Studio Spotlight reviewing the highlights of 1999. The report includes the projected final grosses of the top 50 films of 1999.

Take this week's NEW Reader Survey on Hannibal, the sequel to The Silence of the Lambs. In last week's survey, readers were asked who was the biggest box office star of the 1990s. Of 2,764 responses, 28% selected Tom Hanks, 20% said Arnold Schwarzenegger, 19% voted for Tom Cruise, 16% picked Jim Carrey, 9% opted for Julia Roberts, and 8% went with Robin Williams.

Be sure to read the Weekly Rewind column which reports on the top January openings from the last decade. For reviews of The Talented Mr. Ripley and Man on the Moon visit The Chief Report.

The top ten films over the weekend grossed $74.2M which was up 4% from last year when A Civil Action opened at the top with $15.2M, but down 9% from 1998 when Titanic ruled with $28.7M.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Next Friday opens and The Hurricane debuts nationwide.

Marketplace: Shop for videos, DVDs, music, books, and electronics at discounted prices using search engines

# Title Jan. 7 - 9 Dec. 31 - Jan. 2 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Dist.
1 Stuart Little $ 11,214,503 $ 16,022,757 -30.0 2,979 4 $ 3,765 $ 95,320,551 Sony
2 The Green Mile 9,731,478 11,775,891 -17.4 2,678 5 3,634 91,298,396 Warner Bros.
3 The Talented Mr. Ripley 9,322,535 12,387,523 -24.7 2,316 3 4,025 54,186,228 Paramount
4 Any Given Sunday 8,779,880 11,658,852 -24.7 2,505 3 3,505 59,218,170 Warner Bros.
5 Galaxy Quest 8,022,853 9,705,901 -17.3 2,450 3 3,275 38,454,133 DreamWorks
6 Toy Story 2 7,153,489 12,424,539 -42.4 2,752 8 2,599 219,705,755 Buena Vista
7 Magnolia 5,694,588 158,148 1,034 4 5,507 6,610,047 New Line
8 Bicentennial Man 5,308,109 8,282,585 -35.9 2,612 4 2,032 47,224,648 Buena Vista
9 Deuce Bigalow 5,032,036 5,749,165 -12.5 2,066 5 2,436 54,108,774 Buena Vista
10 Snow Falling on Cedars 3,910,055 48,860 1,150 3 3,400 4,078,058 Universal
11 Anna and the King 3,646,935 5,362,413 -32.0 2,004 4 1,820 30,926,136 Fox
12 Man on the Moon 3,324,650 5,405,400 -38.5 2,065 3 1,610 30,193,435 Universal
13 The Cider House Rules 3,077,420 1,547,749 98.8 816 5 3,771 8,222,514 Miramax
14 Fantasia 2000 2,589,728 2,290,525 13.1 54 2 47,958 6,943,665 Buena Vista
15 The Hurricane 2,531,280 384,640 558.1 159 2 15,920 3,191,951 Universal
16 The World Is Not Enough 1,828,997 2,867,053 -36.2 1,317 8 1,389 120,916,345 MGM/UA
17 Sleepy Hollow 1,105,558 1,556,160 -29.0 1,070 8 1,033 94,723,339 Paramount
18 End of Days 841,455 1,275,605 -34.0 813 7 1,035 64,532,605 Universal
19 The End of the Affair 636,573 363,449 75.1 92 6 6,919 2,422,131 Sony
20 American Beauty 577,310 499,030 15.7 289 17 1,998 71,917,100 DreamWorks
Top 5 $ 47,071,249 $ 64,269,562 -26.8
Top 10 74,169,526 98,775,026 -24.9
Top 20 94,329,432 110,496,056 -14.6

Last Updated : January 10 at 7:30PM EST

Written by Gitesh Pandya