Die Another Day continued its yo-yo cycle with a $13m haul in its third week that took it back to the top for MGM, according to studio estimates released yesterday (Dec 8).
The 20th James Bond instalment has now amassed $120.4m and is expected to become the biggest grossing Bond movie ever in the US within a week, passing the $127m set by 1999's The World Is Not Enough.
Two weeks ago Die Another Day opened at number one, only to fall to second place behind Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets over Thanksgiving last week.
The comedy sequel Analyze That debuted in second place for Warner Bros with $11.3m, while stablemate Chamber Of Secrets slipped two to third. Analyze That's opening was considerably less than the $18m bow enjoyed by the 1999 original, which went on to make $107m. Once again Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal drive each other to distraction as the mob boss and his therapist while Harold Ramis reprises directorial duties. The picture was poorly received by the critics and averaged $4,288 from 2,635 theatres.
Chamber Of Secrets grossed $10m and has now taken $213.9m in four weeks. The picture, which added another $60m from the international markets over the weekend, is expected to finish in the $275m-$290m range. Predecessor Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone took $318m.
Opening in fourth was the Universal/Arenas Entertainment collaboration Empire on $6.3m. In the first outing for Arenas Entertainment, a Universal banner targeting Latino filmgoers, John Leguizamo stars as a South Bronx drug dealer trying to escape his criminal life. Saddled with lacklustre reviews, Empire averaged $7,235 from 867 sites and exit polls revealed a 51% Latino audience and 18% black demographic.
Disney's $140m Treasure Planet continued to exert feeble gravitational pull on audiences, slipping one place to fifth on $5.7m for a running total of $23.8m after two weeks. Elsewhere, Columbia's well-received Adaptation opened in seven venues on $400,000 for a mighty $57,143 average. Directed by Spike Jonze and based on a screenplay by Charlie Kaufman, who collaborated together on the arthouse hit Being John Malkovich, the film stars Nicolas Cage as twin brothers ' Charlie Kaufman and an imaginary brother Donald ' and focuses on Charlie's efforts to adapt a novel for the big screen. Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper co-star. Adaptation rolls out to 100 venues after Dec 20 and more than 600 after Jan 10, 2003.
Dimension Films' sci-fi thriller Equilibrium suffered a poor opening, compounded by poor reviews. Starring Christian Bale and Taye Diggs and directed by Kurt Wimmer, it took $528,000 from 301 venues for a $1,754 per-theatre average.
Overall the top 12 pictures combined for $69.5m, the lowest tally in 12 weeks and down 15% against last year, when Ocean's Eleven opened on $38.1m. No surprises there as the week after Thanksgiving is often a thankless slot, undone by the cinema-going excess of the holiday weekend preceeding it.
Next weekend's releases include the Columbia romance Maid In Manhattan, starring Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes; Disney's Rob Schneider comedy The Hot Chick; Paramount's Star Trek: Nemesis; and Fox's urban comedy Drumline, which is a best picture nominee in the NAACP Awards.
Estimated Top Ten US December 6-8, 2002
Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimated total to date
1 (2) Die Another Day (MGM) Fox $13m $120.4m
2 (-) Analyze That (Warner Bros) Warner Bros $11.3m --
3 (1) Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets (Warner Bros) Warner Bros $10m $213.9m
4 (-) Empire (Universal) $6.3m --
5 (4) Treasure Planet (Buena Vista) BVI $5.7m $23.8m
6 (3) The Santa Clause 2 (Buena Vista) BVI $5.4m $120.2m
7 (5) Adam Sandler's 8 Crazy Nights (Columbia) Columbia TriStar $5.2m $20.4m
8 (6) Friday After Next (New Line) New Line International $2.8m $29.1m
9 (8) 8 Mile (Universal) UIP $2.6m $111.2m
10 (10) The Ring (DreamWorks) UIP $2.5m $123.3m