Three critically lambastednew entries topped the North American box office over the weekend and it wasnot a spectacular one, down some 22% on the same weekend last year when Hannibal made its record-breaking debut.
At the top of the heap withan estimated $15.2m was Collateral Damage, the Arnold Schwarzenegger-starrer from Warner Bros and Bel-AirEntertainment which was originally scheduled to open last October but was movedin light of Sept 11. Not surprisingly so, since Schwarzenegger plays a firemantaking revenge on the terrorists who killed his wife. It is the latest in a runof mediocre openings (The Sixth Day,End Of Days) for the star who isjust about to go into production on Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines, and pales beside some of his career highs - T2 opened with $31.8m in 1991, True Lies with $27.9m in 1994 and Eraser with $24.
Still, the movie beat theother newcomers. Universal's Big Fat Liar, an inexpensive family comedy vehicle for FrankieMuniz, the US TV star of Malcolm In The Middle, came in second with an estimated $11.7m. In the$17m film, Paul Giamatti plays the Hollywood producer who steals Muniz'sidea and turns it into a hit movie.
And third with $9m was thelong-delayed Rollerball from MGMwhich was also moved out of last summer's schedule and recut after onlinecritic Harry Jay Knowles savaged an early cut on his website ain't itcool news.com. Directed by John McTiernan, the remake of Norman Jewison's 1977 film was producedby Chuck Roven's Atlas Entertainment and co-financed with Japan'sToho Towa and Germany's Helkon International Pictures which sold the bulkof the rest of the world to Columbia TriStar. Reviews were generally rotten forthe film which stars Chris Klein, LL Cool J, Jean Reno and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos.
Next week's four dayPresidents Day weekend should see the box office pick up with the arrival ofMGM's WWII PoW camp drama Hart's War starring Bruce Willis and Colin Farrell, NewLine's sentimental drama John Q with Denzel Washington, Disney's animated sequel to Peter Pan called Return To Neverland, Paramount/MTV Films' teen drama Crossroads starring Britney Spears and Fox Searchlight'scomedy pick-up Supertroopers.
ESTIMATED TOP TEN US FEB8-10
Film(Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimatedtotal to date
1 (-) Collateral Damage (Warner Bros) Warner/Bel-Air $15.2m --
2 (-) Big Fat Liar (Universal) UIP $11.7m --
3 (-) Rollerball (MGM) Helkon/Columbia TriStar $9m --
4 (1) Black Hawk Down (Columbia) Revolution/Columbia TriStar $8m $86.7m
5 (2) Snow Dogs (Buena Vista) BVI $6.7m $59.5m
6 (4)The Count Of MonteCristo (Buena Vista) BVI/Spyglass$6.3m $32.2m
7 (5) A Beautiful Mind (Universal) DreamWorks/UIP $5.8m $112.8m
8 (3) A Walk To Remember (Warner Bros) Warner International $5.77m $30.5m
9 (6)The MothmanProphecies (Screen Gems) LakeshoreInternational $4.9m $28m
10 (7) I Am Sam (New Line) New Line International $4.5m $23.7m