MGM's Ice Cube comedy Barbershop remained a cut above the rest in its second week, holding on to top spot with a $13.3m haul according to studio estimates released today. The picture's 36% drop-off, impressive for an urban comedy, and $38.9m cumulative score was more good news for beleaguered studio MGM. The prospect of crossover from Barbershop's predominantly black audience to mainstream viewers is already fuelling talk of a possible $60m domestic box office and a sequel. With four new releases breaking into the top ten and offering too much choice for any title to truly dominate, this was the second consecutive "up" weekend against the same period last year. The combined top 12 scored a respectable $70m box office, up 61% on the same weekend in 2001.
In second place was Fox Searchlight's comedy The Banger Sisters on $10.3m, averaging $3,763 from 2,737 theatres. The picture, which divided the critics, stars Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon as 1960s rock groupies who meet up as adults. Bob Dolman directed for his feature debut. Dolman's writing credits include Far And Away and Willow. Dropping one place to third was that most unassuming box office beacon, IFC's My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which in its 23rd week took another $10.01m for a staggering $124.31m cumulative score. The comedy is roughly $16m away from overtaking The Blair Witch Project as the most successful independent of all time. In fourth was the Franchise Pictures spy adventure Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever, which Warner Bros is distributing for a fee, on $7.11m. Antonio Banderas and Lucy Liu star as battling secret agents and the picture marks the Hollywood feature directorial debut of Kaos, aka Wych Kaosayananda, the 28-year old Thai tyro whose picture Fah was a big hit in his native country. Alas Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever averaged a paltry $2,628 from 2,705 venues and was drubbed by the critics.
Opening in fifth place on $7.1m was Shekhar Kapur's $30m-$35m remake of the 19th Century wartime drama The Four Feathers, which Paramount co-produced with Miramax. Hearth Ledger stars as the British officer who redeems himself after he is branded a coward for refusing to fight in the Sudan. The picture averaged $3,713 from 1,912 theatres and received so-so reviews. Wes Bentley and Kate Hudson also star.
Senator Entertainment's kidnap thriller Trapped opened in tenth on $3.2m, averaging $1,436 from 2,227 venues. Kevin Bacon, Charlize Theron, Stuart Townsend and Courtney Love star in the thriller which suffered a muted marketing campaign from domestic distributor Columbia Pictures due to its theme of child kidnapping - uncomfortably echoing a real spate of child abductions and murders in the US of late. Columbia also picked up distribution rights in most of the world from Senator.
Fox Searchlight's Robin Williams thriller One Hour Photo fell three to sixth place on $4.7m for a $21.8m running total. With the wide release The Banger Sisters opening in second, this is the first time Fox's specialty distribution arm has two titles in the top ten. Next week's releases include the Disney/Hyde Park drama Moonlight Mile, starring Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon and Jake Gyllenhaal; the DreamWorks comedy The Tuxedo, starring Jackie Chan and Jennifer Love Hewitt; and another Disney release, the Reese Witherspoon comedy romance Sweet Home Alabama.
Estimated Top Ten US September 20-22, 2002
Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimated total to date
1 (1) Barbershop (MGM) Fox $13.3m $38.88m
2 (-) The Banger Sisters (Fox Searchlight) Fox $10.3m --
3 (2) My Big Fat Greek Wedding (IFC) Vortex Pictures $10.01m $124.31m
4 (-) Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever (Warner Bros/Franchise Pictures) Franchise Pictures $7.11m --
5 (-) The Four Feathers (Paramount) Miramax International $7.1m --
6 (3) One Hour Photo (Fox Searchlight) Fox $4.73m $21.8m
7 tied (5) Stealing Harvard (Columbia) Columbia TriStar/Revolution $3.5m $10.8m
7 tied (4) Signs (Buena Vista) BVI $3.5m $218m
9 (4) Swimfan (20th Century Fox) Cobalt Media $3.45m $24.4m
10 (-) Trapped (Columbia) Senator International $3.2m --