Weekend Box Office (November 29 - December 1, 2002)

By Sujit Chawla

THIS WEEKEND After a one week absence Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets returned to the top of the charts over the three-day holiday weekend. However if you prefer the five-day totals then Die Another Day managed to take the title this weekend. Holdovers in the top ten remained fairly strong while the five new releases managed to go from bad to worse with their opening tallies.

Harry, Ron and Hermione conjured up another $32.1M according to final figures this weekend, a small 24% drop from last weekend. After only seventeen days, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has banked $200.2M into Gringotts. By comparison, last year's Sorcerer's Stone after its third weekend had taken in $219.6M with the Thanksgiving weekend falling in the middle of that run. With better reviews, Chamber of Secrets has a decent shot at reaching its predecessors total cume of $317.5M. Over the five days Chamber of Secrets took in $45.7M. And in the rest of the world, Chamber of Secrets has conjured up another $205M.

Landing in second place this weekend was everybody's favorite spy James Bond in Die Another Day. There was no sophomore Jinx as Pierce Brosnan and company took in $31M over the three-day weekend, a reasonable 34% drop from last weekend's opening. The last Bond to hit the theaters, 1999s The World is Not Enough had $75M after its second weekend while this Bond crossed the $100M mark on Sunday bringing its total cume to $101.3M. Over the five days Die Another Day took in $46M.

Staying strong in third position this week was the Tim Allen starrer The Santa Clause 2. Up 19% from last weekend's three-day total, the Disney release brought in $12.1M for the three-day weekend and $16.9M over the five-day session. Its total cume now stands at $113.9M. What makes its three-day gross even more incredible is that it actually lost 725 screens from last weekend. With its continually strong holds and the Christmas holidays still to come, Clause 2 has a great shot at passing the original's $144.8M take from back in 1994, very impressive for a film that went 8 years between original and sequel.

Opening in fourth place was another Disney release, Treasure Planet with $12M over the three-day weekend. With a less-than-stellar average of $3,744, Treasure Planet was obviously not the top choice for kids and their parents this weekend as families appear to have decided to stick with old favorites over the new releases. Reviews were generally favorable and those who saw the movie enjoyed it as it got an A- from CinemaScore.com. Planet's cume since its Wednesday opening stands at $16.6M. Disney's last animated film was this summer's Lilo & Stitch which opened in June with $35M on its way to a total of $145.7M.

Landing in fifth place was another new entry onto the charts, Adam Sandler's 8 Crazy Nights which laughed its way to $9.4M over the three-day weekend and $14M since its opening on Wednesday. Its per screen average was again a less-than-stellar $3,769. Its critical reception was lukewarm, but viewers overall gave the movie a B grade on CinemaScore.com with those under 21 giving it an A-. Columbia also reported a strong showing for the sneak preview of the new Jennifer Lopez starrer Maid in Manhattan and will have another sneak preview this upcoming weekend before the national release on December 13th.

Falling 43% from last weekend and ending up in sixth place this weekend was the Ice Cube film Friday After Next with $7.3M over the three days and $10.4M over the five days. Its cume now stands at $25M. Totals for the previous films in the series include $27.4M for Friday and $57.2M for Next Friday. Friday After Next looks to end somewhere in the middle.

Crashing into seventh place was the George Clooney/Steven Soderbergh collaboration Solaris which picked up $6.75M this weekend for a poor per screen average of $2,806, lowest of the new films in the top ten. Critics reviews were mixed with most saying Clooney's performance was the highlight of the film, but moviegoers universally panned the film as CinemaScore.com reported that viewers across the board gave the movie an F. Apparently film fans were hoping for something different than what the mega-star and Oscar winning director had to offer. The five-day cume for Solaris was $9.4M.

Holdovers took the eight and nine spots this weekend as 8 Mile and The Ring had three-day totals of $5.7M and $5.2M, and five-day totals of $8.3M and $7.6M respectively.. Their cumes now stand at $107.4M and $119.8M. And landing in the ten spot was the horror/thriller They which took in $5.1M for a per screen average of $3,185. Its total since opening on Wednesday is $7.5M. And landing well outside the top ten was the last new release this weekend, Extreme Ops was took in a sad $2.2M over the three-day weekend and $3M over the five-day weekend.

And falling just out of the top ten was the old war horse My Big Fat Greek Wedding which still managed to pull in a shade under $4M for the three-day weekend and $5.4M over the five-day period. Its three-day gross was 9% higher than last weekend showing that this wedding party still has a few more hours before the dance floor closes. Wedding's cume now stands at an amazing $210.5M

Compared to projections, Treasure Planet came in well below Gitesh's estimate of $28M while 8 Crazy Nights came in a little below his $14M prediction. Solaris came in just under Gitesh's $10M estimate, while They came in right on target. And Extreme Ops fell off the radar completely as its five-day totals came in under Gitesh's three-day prediction.

The top 10 cume was $129M for the three-day period, off a small 10% from last weekend.

For reviews of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Die Another Day visit The Chief Report.

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# Title Nov 29 - Dec 1 Nov 22 - 24 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets $ 32,117,496 $ 42,227,263 -23.9 3,682 3 $ 8,723 $ 200,159,012 Warner Bros.
2 Die Another Day 31,010,183 47,072,040 -34.1 3,324 2 9,329 101,379,700 MGM
3 The Santa Clause 2 12,133,257 10,210,369 18.8 2,526 5 4,803 113,587,046 Buena Vista
4 Treasure Planet 12,083,248 3,227 1 3,744 16,599,714 Buena Vista
5 Eight Crazy Nights 9,434,175 2,503 1 3,769 14,045,244 Sony
6 Friday After Next 7,363,181 13,010,767 -43.4 1,621 2 4,542 25,048,794 New Line
7 Solaris 6,752,722 2,406 1 2,807 9,418,664 Fox
8 8 Mile 5,758,815 8,620,975 -33.2 2,518 4 2,287 107,393,455 Universal
9 The Ring 5,261,634 7,560,200 -30.4 1,912 7 2,752 119,780,914 DreamWorks
10 They 5,144,090 1,615 1 3,185 7,553,219 Miramax
11 My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3,985,057 3,657,055 9.0 1,257 33 3,170 210,585,352 IFC Films
12 The Emperor's Club 3,523,795 3,846,780 -8.4 809 2 4,356 9,316,220 Universal
13 Extreme Ops 2,233,525 1,800 1 1,241 3,069,469 Paramount
14 Frida 2,125,156 2,369,554 -10.3 755 6 2,815 15,201,924 Miramax
15 Far From Heaven 1,639,138 1,621,020 1.1 284 4 5,772 5,506,446 Focus
16 Half Past Dead 1,333,462 3,125,916 -57.3 990 3 1,347 14,732,332 Sony
17 Bowling for Columbine 966,682 983,467 -1.7 217 8 4,455 11,914,512 MGM/UA
18 El Crimen del Padre Amaro 700,103 742,169 -5.7 108 3 6,482 2,509,869 IDP
19 Star Wars Episode II: IMAX 631,802 617,201 2.4 54 5 11,700 308,786,099 Fox
20 Jackass: The Movie 568,710 1,612,186 -64.7 725 6 784 63,397,207 Paramount
Top 5 $ 96,778,359 $ 121,141,414 -20.1
Top 10 127,058,801 141,700,919 -10.3
Top 20 144,766,231 150,566,786 -3.9
Top 20 vs. 2001 144,766,231 86,440,309 67.5

Last Updated : December 2, 2002 at 7:00PM EST