Movie audiences flirted with the idea of a new President over theweekend as the Dreamworks comedy Head Of State opened at number one on an estimated$14m. The poorly reviewed $35m picture stars Chris Rock as an aspiringpolitician who ends up in the White House. It co-stars Bernie Mac and wasco-written by Rock, who also marked his feature directorial debut. Head OfState averaged a highlydecent $6,511 from 2,150 theatres.

In second place - after three weeks at the top spot - was BuenaVista's Bringing Down The House. However what the hugely successful comedy lost in ranking itgained elsewhere, passing $100m in its fourth week with a $12.5m haul.

Paramount's romantic comedy How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days also passed $100m, grossing $1.9m in itseighth week, although it finished outside the top 10. The two comedies are thefirst 2003 releases to cross $100m.

Paramount's The Core, an environmental action-drama about emergency repair work at thecentre of the Earth, opened in third on $12.4m. Reviews were mediocre for thefilm which stars Aaron Eckhart and Hilary Swank and was directed by Jon Amiel. TheCore averaged $4,110from 3,017 venues.

Close behind was Columbia/Intermedia's military thriller Basic, which opened in fourth on $12.1m,averaging $4,207 from 2,876 theatres. John Travolta plays a DEA investigatorsearching for clues in the whereabouts of a missing drill sergeant (Samuel LJackson) and his squad.

John McTiernan directed the film which had mediocre to poorreviews. Columbia reportedly paid producer Intermedia a $19m fee for NorthAmerican and Japanese distribution rights.

The only other real story of the weekend were the Oscar winners.After leading the board with six Academy Awards last weekend, Miramax's Chicago is now the highest grossing Miramaxpicture of all time, passing Good Will Hunting on $140m. It climbed one place and 20%to fifth on $7.4m for a $144.9m running score in its 14th week.

And Roman Polanski's wartime drama The Pianist leapt 137% and four places to 11th on$2.5m - the biggest post-Oscar jump in recent history according to distributorFocus Features. The Pianist, which won best actor for Adrien Brody, best director and bestadapted screenplay for Ronald Harwood, has a cumulative score of $23.6m.

Nicole Kidman's best actress win for The Hours appeared to do little for the Paramountpicture's box office. It grossed a so-what $765,000 from 506 sites to bring itstotal to $40.2m after 14 weeks.

Overall the top 12 films this weekend grossed $87.4m, representinga fall of 23.5% from the same period last year but a rise a 5% over lastweekend.

Estimated Top Ten US March 28-March 30, 2003

Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend

gross/Estimated total to date

1 (-) Head of State (Dreamworks) UIP $14m -

2 (1) Bringing Down The House (Buena Vista) BVI $12.5m $100m

3 (-) The Core (Paramount) UIP $12.4m -

4 (-) Basic (Columbia/Intermedia) Intermedia $12.1m -

5 (6) Chicago (Miramax) Miramax International $7.4m $144.9m

6 (2) Dreamcatcher (Warner Bros) Warner Bros $6.4m $25.4m

7 (3) Agent Cody Banks (MGM) Fox International $6.1m $34.8m

8 (7) Piglet's Big Movie (Buena Vista) BVI $4.6m $12.4

9 (4) View From The Top (Miramax) Miramax International $3.8m $12.5m

10 (5) TheHunted (Paramount)Lakeshore Entertainment $3.7m $29.3m