Weekend Box Office (June 14 - 16, 2002)

THIS WEEKEND The much-hyped Scooby Doo crushed the competition and claimed the number one spot at the North American box office while Matt Damon's suspense thriller The Bourne Identity easily defeated Nicolas Cage's war flick Windtalkers in the battle of the new action movies. Together, the three new releases pumped in nearly $100M in ticket sales and helped the overall marketplace surge much higher than year-ago levels.

Warner Bros. successfully launched its newest feature film franchise as the live-action adaptation Scooby Doo rocked theaters with a stellar $54.2M over the weekend, according to final studio figures. Released in a massive 3,447 theaters, the PG-rated comedy about a bumbling canine sleuth and his teenage buddies averaged a sparking $15,712 per location and enjoyed the third biggest opening of the year behind Spider-Man ($114.8M) and Star Wars Episode II ($80M). Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Matthew Lillard star in the $80M Raja Gosnell-directed adaptation of the popular 1970s cartoon series.

Scooby Doo's bow makes it the second biggest opening in the month of June after 1999's Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me which launched with a Friday-to-Sunday take of $54.9M plus an additional $2.5M from Thursday night previews. For Warner Bros., the meddling kids delivered the second best debut in studio history behind the $90.3M of last November's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The theatrical trailer to the next Harry Potter film played with Scooby Doo this weekend adding some fuel to the fire.

With a kid-friendly story, a cast that draws in teens and twentysomethings, and the nostalgia factor appealing to those over thirty, Scooby Doo attracted a very wide age group. Those polled by CinemaScore.com gave the film an overall A- grade with those under 21 giving it an A. Though exit polls were positive, smooth sailing in the weeks ahead is not guaranteed. Scooby Doo will face many other competitors going after young people now leaving school for summer vacation. Disney releases its animated comedy Lilo & Stitch next weekend, Paramount follows a week later with its toon Hey Arnold! The Movie, and Independence Day weekend will see the openings of The Powerpuff Girls, Like Mike, and the tentpole pic Men in Black 2.

A new action hero was born as Matt Damon generated a terrific opening for the suspense thriller The Bourne Identity which took in $27.1M. The Universal release about an assassin with amnesia trying to learn his true identity averaged a potent $10,281 from 2,638 theaters and gave the actor his best opening ever in a lead role. With its dashing young star, modern-day setting, sizable female role (played by Franka Potente), and PG-13 rating, The Bourne Identity became the weekend's action movie of choice and played to a broad audience. Moviegoers liked what they saw as the $60M Doug Liman-helmed film earned a CinemaScore.com grade of A- and experienced a healthy Friday-to-Saturday jump of 20%. After flops like The Legend of Bagger Vance and All the Pretty Horses, Damon needed to prove that he could open a hit film on his own and the Oscar winner left no doubts with this weekend's performance.

Nicolas Cage witnessd a disappointing debut for the big-budget war film Windtalkers which grossed $14.5M in its first weekend. The John Woo-directed pic about Navajo codetalkers during World War II played in 2,898 theaters and averaged $5,010 per site. With action audiences flocking to The Bourne Identity, Windtalkers with its R rating and limited female appeal became an also-ran. Budget estimates on MGM's brutal battle pic have run as high as $120M making it one of the summer's most expensive offerings. Audiences were generally pleased as moviegoers polled by CinemaScore.com gave the film a B+ grade.

Paramount's political thriller The Sum of All Fears dropped to fourth place after a two-week mission at number one and grossed $13.5M. Off only 30%, the Ben Affleck-Morgan Freeman picture raised its cume to $84.5M after 17 days. Star Wars Episode II followed in fifth with $9.4M, down 33%, for a total of $270.8M putting it at number 16 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters surpassing Shrek's $267.7M.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood fell a disturbing 45% in its sophomore frame to $8.9M for a ten-day cume of $34M. Budgeted at $27M, the Warner Bros. release looks to be on its way to $65-70M. Spider-Man left the top five and captured $7.5M, slipping 27% from last weekend, and boosted its overall haul to $382.5M. Together, the webslinger and Episode II have already grossed over $1 billion from moviegoers worldwide.

The action-comedy Bad Company followed its disappointing debut with the worst drop in the top ten tumbling 47% to $5.9M. The Buena Vista release has taken in just $21.6M in ten days and should finish with $35-40M. DreamWorks saw a 44% drop for its animated adventure Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron which grossed $5.2M for the weekend bringing its total to $63.5M. The spy spoof Undercover Brother rounded out the top ten with $4.4M, off 40%, for a $31.4M cume.

Three films left the top ten over the weekend. Insomnia, starring Al Pacino and Robin Williams, took in $3.5M in its fourth weekend pushing its total to $58.4M. The $60M Warner Bros. release should find its way to $65-70M. Hugh Grant's comedy About A Boy collected $1.5M lifting its sum to $35.3M. The $27M Universal release looks to conclude with roughly $40M. Sony's $38M Jennifer Lopez thriller Enough has punched up $37.2M in ticket sales to date and should finish with around $40M as well.

The top ten films grossed $150.6M which was up 19% from last year when Lara Croft: Tomb Raider opened at number one with $47.7M; and up 60% from 2000 when Shaft debuted in the top spot with $21.7M.

Compared to projections, Scooby Doo and The Bourne Identity both opened much stronger than my respective forecasts of $34M and $17M. Windtalkers debuted close to my $16M prediction.

Take this week's NEW Reader Survey on which Star Wars film you like better - Episode I or Episode II. In last week's survey, readers were asked which of this weekend's three new films would open at number one. Of 2,628 responses, 43% correctly picked Scooby Doo, 38% selected Windtalkers, while 19% chose The Bourne Identity.

For a review of The Bourne Identity visit The Chief Report.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Minority Report, Lilo & Stitch, and Juwanna Mann all open.

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

# Title Jun 14 - 16 Jun 7 - 9 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Scooby Doo $ 54,155,312 3,447 1 $ 15,711 $ 54,155,312 Warner Bros.
2 The Bourne Identity 27,118,640 2,638 1 10,280 27,118,640 Universal
3 Windtalkers 14,520,412 2,898 1 5,010 14,520,412 MGM
4 The Sum of All Fears 13,456,325 19,230,111 -30.0 3,230 3 4,166 84,470,597 Paramount
5 Star Wars Episode II 9,438,607 14,011,713 -32.6 2,401 5 3,931 270,752,477 Fox
6 Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood 8,874,585 16,167,412 -45.1 2,507 2 3,540 34,000,024 Warner Bros.
7 Spider-Man 7,515,984 10,311,062 -27.1 2,702 7 2,782 382,537,669 Sony
8 Bad Company 5,872,984 11,007,367 -46.6 2,944 2 1,995 21,584,029 Buena Vista
9 Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron 5,223,491 9,303,808 -43.9 2,873 4 1,818 63,496,649 DreamWorks
10 Undercover Brother 4,424,295 7,301,145 -39.4 1,832 3 2,415 31,353,150 Universal
11 Insomnia 3,489,421 6,122,478 -43.0 1,929 4 1,809 58,388,082 Warner Bros.
12 My Big Fat Greek Wedding 1,755,197 1,688,563 3.9 455 8 3,858 13,642,098 IFC Films
13 Enough 1,685,518 3,782,592 -55.4 1,509 4 1,117 37,152,920 Sony
14 About A Boy 1,482,425 2,653,520 -44.1 947 5 1,565 35,290,380 Universal
15 Unfaithful 763,458 1,761,814 -56.7 600 6 1,272 50,549,588 Fox
16 Space Station 625,025 532,436 17.4 55 9 11,364 8,393,244 Imax
17 The Importance of Being Earnest 606,061 625,256 -3.1 180 4 3,367 3,355,448 Miramax
18 The Scorpion King 323,595 386,590 -16.3 423 9 765 90,032,520 Universal
19 Ice Age 273,500 250,448 9.2 343 14 797 174,215,931 Fox
20 Thirteen Conversations About One Thing 211,140 102,949 105.1 55 4 3,839 615,367 Sony Classics
Top 5 $ 118,689,296 $ 70,727,665 67.8
Top 10 150,600,635 99,891,208 50.8
Top 20 161,815,975 106,524,035 51.9
Top 20 vs. 2001 161,815,975 130,705,970 23.8

Last Updated : June 17, 2002 at 11:00PM EDT