The Labor Day weekend was another disapppointing one at the North American box office. Estimated figures for the whole four days (Fri-Mon) saw a drop of some 13.5% on the same weekend last year when The Sixth Sense was still atop the charts. It is indicative of the miserable August this year which doesn't look set to get better in September with its non-eventful release slate and competition from the Olympic Games on TV.

Bring It On from Universal and Beacon Pictures was the only bright spot with an impressive $14.56m, down just 23% on last weekend. With a screen average of $6,040, the cheerleading comedy has taken $37m in ten days, proving there's life in teen comedies just yet.

There's also life in New Line's serial killer thriller The Cell which dropped a mere 17% in its third weekend to move back up to number two with $8.81m and a cumulative total to date of $46.3m. Also moving back up at three was Space Cowboys from Warner Bros with $8.34m in its fifth weekend, bringing its total to $74.2m.

New openers were Dimension Films' Highlander: Endgame at number five which took $6.2m at 1,543 for a not bad screen average of $4,018. Adrian Paul and Christopher Lambert star in the latest time travel saga uniting the screen and TV stars under the direction of Douglas Aarniokoski. Destination Films suffered another blow with its teen comedy Whipped which failed to break the top ten, mustering only $2.62m. Intermedia has international sales rights to the movie which stars Amanda Peet.

Meanwhile Fine Line Features' aggressive rollout of British comedy Saving Grace continued, moving from 255 to 875 sites and scoring $2.9m. Ranking at number 13 in the chart, the film which stars Brenda Blethyn has so far taken $6.7m and looks set to beat the $10m mark with ease.

Next weekend's openers include Universal pick-up The Watcher, an independently produced thriller featuring James Spader, Marisa Tomei and Keanu Reeves, Miramax hip hop documentary Backstage, USA Films' comedy Nurse Betty and Artisan's actioner The Way Of The Gun with Ryan Philippe and Benicio Del Toro.


Film (Distributor) International distribution Estimated weekend gross Estimated total to date

1 (1) Bring It On (Universal) Beacon/Buena Vista Film Sales $14.5m $37m

2 (3) The Cell (New Line) New Line International $9.1m $46.4m

3 (4) Space Cowboys (Warner Bros) Warner Bros $8.3m $74.2m

4 (2) The Art Of War (Warner Bros) Franchise Pictures $7.6m $21.3m

5 (-) Highlander: Endgame (Dimension) Miramax International $6.4m --

6 (6) What Lies Beneath (DreamWorks SKG) 20th Century Fox $6.2m $137.5m

7 (5) The Original Kings Of Comedy (Paramount) UIP $5.9m $28.9m

8 (7) The Replacements (Warner Bros) Bel Air/Warner/Canal Plus $4.4m $36.8m

9 (9) Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (Universal) UIP $3.8m $115m

10 (8) The Crew (Buena Vista) George Litto Pictures $3.6m $9.2m