Weekend Box Office (July 28 - 30, 2000)

THIS WEEKEND For the eighth consecutive frame, a new release debuted at number one as Eddie Murphy's Nutty Professor II : The Klumps devoured all competitors with a monster opening. Harrison Ford's What Lies Beneath enjoyed a strong second weekend while younger-skewing films like Pokemon the Movie 2000, X-Men, and Scary Movie suffered much larger declines. Elsewhere, The Patriot crossed the $100M mark as a record-shattering July box office came to an end.

Nutty Professor II, the sequel to the 1996 blockbuster comedy, grossed an enormous $42.5M giving Murphy the best debut of his career. Universal Pictures released The Klumps in 3,242 theaters and averaged a hefty $13,115 per venue. Murphy, with the assistance of his makeup team, played the lovable Dr. Sherman Klump, the evil Buddy Love, and most members of the dysfunctional Klump family. Janet Jackson starred as the professor's love interest and contributed to the hot-selling soundtrack.

Nutty II successfully brought out fans of the original comedy and had appeal that crossed into every demographic group. The PG-13 film ranks as the year's third-largest debut behind Mission: Impossible 2's $57.8M and X-Men's $54.5M. Plus Nutty II ranks as the fourth-best comedy opening in history after Austin Powers 2, Toy Story 2, and Men in Black. Poor reviews for The Klumps meant nothing during its premiere weekend, but word-of-mouth will certainly affect the comedy over the long run.

Slipping to second place with a very impressive sophomore showing was the Harrison Ford-Michelle Pfeiffer thriller What Lies Beneath which dipped only 23% to $22.9M. The DreamWorks/Fox co-production has amassed a terrific $69.4M in just ten days suggesting that the film's cume could reach $140-160M by the end of its run. What Lies Beneath has found its greatest support from adult women who tend to see a film over time instead of rushing out on opening weekend. The Robert Zemeckis picture has also benefited from the lack of female-appeal movies this summer.

The mutant heroes and villains of X-Men followed in third place with $12.7M. Off 46%, the Fox release has already reached much of its core audience with $122.9M in the bank after only 17 days. The franchise pic could wind up with $140-150M domestically making a sequel a sure bet.

Miramax's spoof comedy Scary Movie dropped another 45% in its fourth outing to $8.3M. Still playing in more theaters than any other film with 3,256 playdates, the modestly-budgeted hit has lifted its mighty cume to $132.1M.

Warner Bros. claimed the fifth and sixth spots with a pair of films that could not be more different. The disaster-at-sea actioner The Perfect Storm grossed $7.5M in its fifth voyage pushing its impressive tally to $158.1M. Its scant 22% decline was much better than the 68% fall that Pokemon the Movie 2000 experienced in its second weekend of release. The animated film grossed $6.2M after debuting with $19.6M last weekend. The Pokemon sequel has taken in $33.1M to date.

Mel Gibson's Revolutionary War adventure The Patriot crossed the $100M mark in its fifth frame with $4.4M in receipts. Off only 29%, the Sony release raised its cume to $101.2M. The Patriot is the ninth release of 2000 to hit the century mark and should be joined by Nutty Professor II, What Lies Beneath, and Chicken Run in the weeks ahead.

Thomas and the Magic Railroad, a new family film starring Alec Baldwin and Mara Wilson, debuted in ninth place with $4.2M in 2,106 theaters. Averaging a mild $1,973 per site, the Destination Films release has grossed $6.6M since its Wednesday opening.

Disney's The Kid slipped just 22% to $5.2M taking seventh place. The Bruce Willis comedy has brought in $52.1M after its fourth weekend. Chicken Run climbed to $92.9M in its sixth weekend with a $3.4M take rounding out the top ten.

In limited release, Paramount Classics saw an encouraging start to the French film Girl on the Bridge which grossed $66,567 from six theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a solid $11,095 average.

Two comedies dropped out of the top ten over the weekend. Sony's teen flick Loser stumbled 55% in its sophomore frame taking in $2.7M pushing its ten-day sum to $12M. The $20M picture should eventually finish with $16-18M. Jim Carrey's Me, Myself, and Irene fell 46% to $1.6M in its sixth weekend. The $52M Fox release has grossed $86.1M and looks to retire with around $90M.

The top ten films over the weekend grossed $117.3M which was down 12% from last year when Runaway Bride and The Blair Witch Project debuted nationwide with $35.1M and $29.2M respectively; but up 22% from 1998 when Saving Private Ryan remained at number one for the second weekend with $23.6M.

Compared to projections, Nutty Professor II opened extremely close to my $44M forecast. Thomas and the Magic Railroad debuted a little bit better than my $3M prediction.

Take this week's NEW Reader Survey on which August release you are most looking forward to. In last week's survey, readers were asked whether The Nutty Professor would open with at least $40M. Of 2,170 responses, 56% correctly said yes while 44% voted no.

Be sure to read the Weekly Rewind column which reviews the top-grossing hits of Eddie Murphy. For a review of X-Men visit The Chief Report.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Hollow Man, Coyote Ugly, and Space Cowboys all open.

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

# Title Jul. 28 - 30 Jul. 21 - 23 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Dist.
1 Nutty Professor II $ 42,518,830 3,242 1 $ 13,115 $ 42,518,830 Universal
2 What Lies Beneath 22,863,897 29,702,959 -23.0 2,825 2 8,093 69,352,633 DreamWorks
3 X-Men 12,681,154 23,468,649 -46.0 3,107 3 4,081 122,937,208 Fox
4 Scary Movie 8,309,217 15,124,155 -45.1 3,256 4 2,552 132,142,105 Miramax
5 The Perfect Storm 7,517,689 9,680,952 -22.3 3,093 5 2,431 158,053,931 Warner Bros.
6 Pokémon 2000 6,202,920 19,575,608 -68.3 2,752 2 2,254 33,057,245 Warner Bros.
7 The Kid 5,211,183 6,688,762 -22.1 2,328 4 2,238 52,057,163 Buena Vista
8 The Patriot 4,443,467 6,240,288 -28.8 2,329 5 1,908 101,207,083 Sony
9 Thomas and the Magic Railroad 4,154,932 2,106 1 1,973 6,564,093 Destination
10 Chicken Run 3,439,300 4,602,125 -25.3 2,114 6 1,627 92,876,788 DreamWorks
11 Loser 2,705,545 6,008,611 -55.0 2,016 2 1,342 12,044,227 Sony
12 Me, Myself, and Irene 1,636,382 3,022,477 -45.9 1,560 6 1,049 86,073,814 Fox
13 Big Momma's House 917,858 1,703,228 -46.1 920 9 998 113,035,453 Fox
14 Gladiator 874,562 1,052,014 -16.9 651 13 1,343 179,965,669 DreamWorks
15 Mission: Impossible 2 840,682 1,273,633 -34.0 820 10 1,025 211,273,842 Paramount
16 Gone in 60 Seconds 779,840 1,171,720 -33.4 803 8 971 95,014,420 Buena Vista
17 The In Crowd 681,698 1,505,551 -54.7 1,335 2 511 4,443,525 Warner Bros.
18 The Adv. of Rocky and Bullwinkle 477,760 673,130 -29.0 650 5 735 23,416,385 Universal
19 Shaft 454,612 1,058,252 -57.0 757 7 601 68,812,838 Paramount
20 Michael Jordan to the MAX 371,247 374,822 -1.0 56 13 6,629 8,819,362 Giant Screen
Top 5 $ 93,890,787 $ 97,552,323 -3.8
Top 10 117,342,589 124,114,586 -5.5
Top 20 127,082,775 133,538,611 -4.8
Top 20 vs. 1999 127,082,775 150,924,529 -15.8

Last Updated : July 31 at 8:00PM EDT

Written by Gitesh Pandya