Tom Hanks and Mel Gibson demonstrated their huge star power over the Christmas and New Year holiday weekends, notching up megahits in the form of Cast Away and What Women Want respectively.
Accompanied by excellent reviews from most North American critics, Cast Away opened with a powerhouse $39.9m opening over the four day weekend Dec 22-25 and followed that up with an even better New Year weekend total of $40m. Its eleven day total is now $109.7m, representing the eighth film to gross over $100m from Hanks (not counting the two Toy Story movies for which he provided a voice) and the seventh from director Robert Zemeckis.
Meanwhile What Women Want which took $21.6m over Christmas and $26.4m over New Year has now grossed $115.7, marking star Gibson's seventh $100m grosser and his second of 2000 after The Patriot, his third if his voice role in Chicken Run is counted.
Universal's Dr Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas, which has now taken $253.4m, is now the 14th biggest grossing picture in domestic history and should overtake Jaws next weekend to become the 13th. However, with a 39% drop-off last weekend, it could exit theatres quickly as holiday memories fade.
Sandra Bullock is enjoying one of the biggest hits of her career with Warner Bros/Castle Rock's comedy thriller Miss Congeniality. The comedy opened over Christmas weekend with a strong $13.8m and rose to $19.2m over New Year. Its gross to date is $46.4m.
Also improving dramatically over New Year was Disney's animated comedy The Emperor's New Groove which leapt up 53% from $9.6m over Christmas to $14.6m over New Year. It has now crossed the $50m gross barrier. Universal/Beacon's The Family Man was also a holiday audience-pleaser, taking $15.1m and $16.7m over the two weekends for a total so far of $43.1m.
Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon played to capacity crowds througout the holiday on limited release. On just 162 screens, the Sony Pictures Classics release grossed $4.5m over the New Year weekend - a spectacular average in its fourth weekend of $27,943. With $13.45m to date, the Mandarin-language actioner is already a cert to beat Il Postino ($21.8m) and could have a chance at beating Life Is Beautiful ($57.2m) as the biggest grossing foreign language film in history.
TOP 10 AT THE NORTH AMERICAN BOX OFFICE DEC 29, 2000 - JAN 1, 2001
Film (Distributor) Weekend gross Total US gross to date
1 (1) Cast Away (20th Century Fox) $40m $109.7m
2 (2) What Women Want (Paramount) $26.4m $115.8m
3 (4) Miss Congeniality (Warner Bros) $19.2m $46.4m
4 (3) The Family Man (Universal) $16.7m $43.1m
5 (6) The Emperor's New Groove (Buena Vista) $14.7m $50.8m
6 (4) How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Universal) $9m $253.4m
7 (8) Vertical Limit (Columbia) $8.2m $51.9m
8 (7) Wes Craven Presents Dracula 2000 (Dimension) $7.3m $21.6m
9 (9) Dude, Where's My Car' (20th Century Fox) $5.8m $35.6m
10 (15) All The Pretty Horses (Miramax) $4.8m $9m
* See Screen International for full Top 30 listings and analysis, Jan 5