Weekend Box Office (September 28 - 30, 2001)
By Sujit Chawla
THIS WEEKEND Giving the box office a much needed boost, the three major new releases took the top three spots in this weekend's box office race, led by 20th Century Fox's Don't Say a Word. Zoolander and Hearts in Atlantis also opened well, with the rest of the box office suffering expected declines, other than the continued strong performance of The Others.
Grabbing the number one spot this week with $17M, according to final figures, was the Michael Douglas starrer Don't Say a Word. Also featuring Brittany Murphy, the movie is a dark thriller that involves murder, kidnapping, and a very powerful secret. Don't Say a Word opened stronger than previous Michael Douglas films 1997's The Game and 1998's A Perfect Murder which enjoyed openings of $14.3M and $16.6M leading to totals of $48M and $67M. With a strong $6,097 per screen average and a 30% Friday to Saturday increase, Don't Say a Word could be a popular choice in the weeks to come, with a final cume in the area of $50-60M.
Surprisingly, Don't Say a Word is the highest opening ever for a Michael Douglas film, topping the $16.7M opening of A Perfect Murder. With Americans flocking to the video shelves for copies of films such as The Siege and Die Hard, it appears people are looking for the 'good triumphing over evil' films to help them cope with the tragedies of September 11.
Dancing his way into second place this weekend was supermodel Ben Stiller as Zoolander. The Paramount release vogued its way to a solid $15.5M opening. Being the new comedy on the block, Zoolander had the laugh market all to itself and averaged a good $6,194 per screen. With a 32% uptick from Friday to Saturday, and no straight comedies opening next weekend, Zoolander should reach the $40-50M mark.
In third place this weekend from Warner Bros. was Hearts in Atlantis. Starring Anthony Hopkins, and based on the novel by Stephen King, Hearts in Atlantis took in $9M this weekend, for a per screen average of $5,151. Playing in 1751 theaters, Hearts in Atlantis benefitted from last weekend's sneak previews and good word of mouth. Hearts in Atlantis could find its way to $30-40M by the end of its theatrical run, although with the strong word of mouth, its grosses could climb even higher.
After two weeks at number one, the Keanu Reeves baseball film Hardball dropped to number four this week, with $5.16M. Falling a moderate 36% Hardball's cume now stands at $26.3M. Continuing its impressive run, Nicole Kidman's spooky thriller The Others scared up another $4.8M this weekend, a drop off of only 5.7% from last weekend. Already with a total cume of $87M and with Halloween fast approaching, The Others should keep up its spectacular run and hit the $100M mark by the end of October.
Outside of the top five, Rush Hour 2 also continued its amazing run with $2.5M added to its bank, bringing its total after nine weeks to a soaring $219M. The rest of the top ten had higher dropoffs from last weekend, due to the new slate of releases. The Glass House with Leelee Sobieski dropped 52% from last weekend, bringing in $2.1M, raising its total to $15M. In a slight reversal from preliminary weekend estimates, The Musketeer jumps up to the number eight spot with $1.74M, bringing its swashbuckling total to $25.5M, while the comedy caper Rat Race falls to number nine with $1.7M, bringing its total to a solid $54.1M. Rounding out the top ten was Two Can Play That Game with $1.6M, bringing its cume to $20.6M. And just outside of the top ten was American Pie 2 whose total now stands at $142.1M.
Compared to predictions, Don't Say a Word came in slightly stronger than Gitesh Pandya's $14 projection, while Zoolander and Hearts in Atlantis were almost dead on with his $16M and $9M projections.
Read the Weekly Rewind column which looks back at the summer box office with a Top 20 chart of projected final grosses. For a review of Don't Say a Word visit The Chief Report.
Check back on Thursday for projections for next week's slate of releases including the highly anticipated Denzel Washington starrer Training Day, the romantic comedy Serendipity, the thriller Joy Ride and for the kids, Max Keeble's Big Move.
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|#||Title||Sep 28 - 30||Sep 21 - 23||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Dist.|
|1||Don't Say A Word||$ 17,090,474||2,802||1||$ 6,099||$ 17,090,474||Fox|
|3||Hearts in Atlantis||9,021,494||1,751||1||5,152||9,021,494||Warner Bros.|
|6||Rush Hour 2||2,484,904||3,520,978||-29.4||2,086||9||1,191||219,192,504||New Line|
|7||The Glass House||2,106,341||4,407,767||-52.2||1,601||3||1,316||15,035,267||Sony|
|10||Two Can Play That Game||1,628,848||3,212,217||-49.3||1,188||4||1,371||20,647,372||Sony|
|11||American Pie 2||1,505,440||2,688,600||-44.0||1,610||8||935||142,052,749||Universal|
|13||The Princess Diaries||1,253,822||1,948,295||-35.6||1,651||9||759||104,429,837||Buena Vista|
|14||Megiddo: The Omega Code 2||1,022,745||1,573,454||-35.0||353||2||2,897||2,848,078||8X|
|17||Rock Star||641,668||2,933,530||-78.1||1,159||4||554||16,552,203||Warner Bros.|
|20||Jurassic Park III||405,840||639,470||-36.5||534||11||760||179,411,620||Universal|
|Top 5||$ 51,579,116||$ 24,620,042||109.5|
|Top 20 vs. 2000||70,050,356||58,239,580||20.3|
This column is updated three times each week : Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Data source : Exhibitor Relations, EDI. Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated : October 1, 2001 at 4:30PM EDT