Weekend Box Office (June 13 - 15, 2003)

THIS WEEKEND Continuing its bid to become the biggest fish of the summer box office, Finding Nemo resurfaced in the number one spot as it sped past last weekend's winner, 2 Fast 2 Furious, to reclaim pole position. Meanwhile Rugrats Go Wild and Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd ended the summer streak of sequels opening stronger than their predecessors while Harrison Ford was not too arresting in his return to heroic form in Hollywood Homicide. Audiences were not too impressed with the new releases, but the marketplace, though down from last year, did show incredible breadth as for the first time in nearly a year and a half, six different films attracted over $10M each.

Disney and Pixar enjoyed another impressive hold for its animated money machine Finding Nemo which topped the charts with $28.4M in its third weekend, according to final figures. The G-rated toon declined 39% and averaged a still-strong $8,287 from 3,425 venues. Nemo has now grossed an amazing $191.5M in a mere 17 days and is a viable candidate to join the triple century club. In two weeks time, look for the underwater adventure to surpass The Matrix Reloaded to become the year's biggest blockbuster. Few thought that would ever happen a month ago.

Universal's street racing sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious hit the brakes in its second weekend decelerating 63% to $18.7M. After ten days, the John Singleton-directed film has raced to a potent $83.6M. Look for the $76M actioner to reach $120-125M which is an acceptable drop from the $144.5M of The Fast and the Furious from two years ago.

Falling only 36% was Jim Carrey's divine comedy Bruce Almighty which claimed fourth place with $14.2M. The Universal sensation has grossed $193.8M to date making it the second biggest hit ever for the comedian behind only How the Grinch Stole Christmas which made off with $260M in 2000.

Rugrats Go Wild debuted in fourth place with $11.6M from 3,041 theaters for a $3,800 average. The PG-rated film combined the casts of the Nickelodeon animated shows The Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys and added in the talking and singing voice of Bruce Willis. Paramount has seen diminishing returns from the franchise following the $27.3M bow of The Rugrats Movie from 1998 and the $22.7M opening of its sequel Rugrats in Paris in 2000. Both of those films opened in November on the weekend before Thanksgiving. With families still getting a fresh taste from the G-rated and Disney-approved Finding Nemo, Rugrats seemed like yesterday's toon as its opening was less than half of Nemo's third-weekend gross.

Harrison Ford teamed up with young gun Josh Hartnett and landed in fifth place with $11.1M for the cop pic Hollywood Homicide. Sony's PG-13 buddy film about a pair of L.A. detectives investigating rap star murders bowed in 2,840 locations and averaged a mild $3,913 per theater. The launch was the worst for Ford since 1995's Sabrina and even sunk below the $12.8M debut of the actor's big-budget flop from last summer K-19: The Widowmaker.

Not able to beat the almighty Jim Carrey was New Line's comedy prequel Dumb and Dumberer which opened in sixth place with $10.8M. Playing in 2,609 theaters, the PG-13 flick averaged $4,157. The original Dumb and Dumber which starred Carrey, Jeff Daniels and was directed by the Farrelly brothers, opened to $16.4M in December 1994 and went on to gross a sharp $127.2M. Dumberer featured none of these creative forces and stars two newcomers in a high school story telling how the two dim-witted characters first became pals.

Enjoying the smallest decline in the top ten was Paramount's heist flick The Italian Job which dropped just 27% to $9.6M pushing the 17-day cume to $55.4M. Sci-fi smash The Matrix Reloaded fell 38% to $5.7M in its fifth frame. With $257.5M in the bank after 32 days, the Warner Bros. blockbuster remains the year's top grossing pic, but is likely to relinquish that crown to Finding Nemo in the coming weeks. Reloaded now sits at number 22 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters ahead of Monsters, Inc. which grossed $255.9M in 2001.

Sony's Daddy Day Care placed ninth with $2.2M in its sixth round, off 52%, and lifted its total to $92.3M. The mutants of X2: X-Men United rounded out the top ten with $1.7M in its seventh weekend putting the cume for the Fox sequel at $207.3M. X2 sits at number 43 on the all-time list ahead of 1999's Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me ($205.4M).

Three films fell from the top ten over the weekend. Fox's horror pic Wrong Turn grossed $1.3M, down 50%, and pushed its cume to $12.4M. The $15M slasher flick looks to finish with about $14M. Bend it Like Beckham dipped just 15% to $801,301 for a $21.7M cume. The Fox Searchlight release should reach $25-28M. The Warner Bros. comedy The In-Laws has collected just $19.4M to date and is likely to end with a disappointing $21M.

The top ten films grossed $114.1M which was down 24% from last year when Scooby Doo debuted at number one with $54.2M; and down 10% from 2001 when Lara Croft: Tomb Raider opened in the top spot with $47.7M.

Compared to projections, Rugrats Go Wild and Hollywood Homicide both opened well below my forecasts of $20M and $19M, respectively. Dumb and Dumberer was on target with my $10M prediction.

Take this week's NEW Reader Survey on the opening of The Hulk. In last week's survey, readers were asked which of this weekend's new releases would have the biggest opening.. Of 2,670 responses, 46% picked Hollywood Homicide, 43% correctly guessed Rugrats Go Wild, and 12% selected Dumb and Dumberer.

For reviews of Finding Nemo and 2 Fast 2 Furious visit The Chief Report.

Be sure to check back on on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when The Hulk, Alex and Emma, and From Justin To Kelly all open.

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

# Title Jun 13 - 15 Jun 6 - 8 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Finding Nemo $ 28,384,483 $ 46,589,649 -39.1 3,425 3 $ 8,287 $ 191,487,211 Buena Vista
2 2 Fast 2 Furious 18,679,370 50,472,480 -63.0 3,418 2 5,465 83,584,700 Universal
3 Bruce Almighty 14,238,315 22,358,715 -36.3 3,477 4 4,095 193,818,135 Universal
4 Rugrats Go Wild 11,556,869 3,041 1 3,800 11,556,869 Paramount
5 Hollywood Homicide 11,112,632 2,840 1 3,913 11,112,632 Sony
6 Dumb and Dumberer 10,845,064 2,609 1 4,157 10,845,064 New Line
7 The Italian Job 9,609,425 13,163,133 -27.0 2,697 3 3,563 55,403,975 Paramount
8 The Matrix Reloaded 5,745,465 9,186,342 -37.5 2,350 5 2,445 257,486,680 Warner Bros.
9 Daddy Day Care 2,204,402 4,613,566 -52.2 1,982 6 1,112 92,325,737 Sony
10 X2: X-Men United 1,740,529 3,006,643 -42.1 1,316 7 1,323 207,305,598 Fox
11 Wrong Turn 1,317,972 2,654,013 -50.3 1,074 3 1,227 12,381,877 Fox
12 Bend It Like Beckham 801,301 942,320 -15.0 387 14 2,071 21,746,484 Fox Searchlight
13 The In-Laws 677,377 1,978,398 -65.8 921 4 735 19,401,817 Warner Bros.
14 Down With Love 352,467 888,723 -60.3 383 6 920 19,561,342 Fox
15 Holes 345,101 691,297 -50.1 401 9 861 63,798,143 Buena Vista
16 Spellbound 323,211 304,719 6.1 84 7 3,848 1,622,911 ThinkFilm
17 Winged Migration 322,961 292,790 10.3 69 9 4,681 2,966,043 Sony Classics
18 A Mighty Wind 309,318 464,389 -33.4 245 9 1,263 16,644,788 Warner Bros.
19 L'Auberge Espagnole 248,348 268,005 -7.3 92 5 2,699 1,296,662 Fox Searchlight
20 Ghosts of the Abyss (Lg. Scr) 232,050 258,905 -10.4 53 10 4,378 11,359,384 Buena Vista
Top 5 $ 83,971,669 $ 141,770,319 -40.8
Top 10 114,116,554 154,965,259 -26.4
Top 20 119,046,660 159,468,406 -25.3
Top 20 vs. 2002 119,046,660 161,815,975 -26.4

Last Updated : June 17, 2003 at 4:45PM EDT

Written by Gitesh Pandya