Despite four new entries in the top 10 none was strong enough tochallenge Columbia's 50 First Dates, which held on to number one in its second week on $21m for a$72.3m running total.
Buena Vista's Confessions Of A Teenage Drama Queen opened a distant second but performedroughly as executives predicted on $9.2m, averaging $3,682 from 2,503 sites.
Lindsay Lohan stars as the new girl who battles a rival for thelead in the school play, romance and general popularity stakes. Directed bySara Sugerman, it received poor reviews and also stars Adam Garcia and AlisonPill.
Opening in fourth on a disappointing $7m was Donald Petrie'scomedy Welcome To Mooseport, which stars Gene Hackman as the recently retired US Presidentwho goes head-to-head in a small town mayoral race with the local hardwarestore owner.
US sit-com star Ray Romanoplays Hackman's opponent and the poorly received picture also stars Marcia GayHarden and Maura Tierney and averaged $2,441 from 2,867 sites.
Opening in fifth on a lacklustre $6.6m was DreamWorks' raunchyteen comedy Eurotrip,about a pair of friends who set off to meet a German pen pal.
Jeff Schaffer's picture drewmostly unfavourable reviews and averaged $2,627 from 2,512 sites. ScottMechlowicz, Travis Wester, Michelle Trachtenberg and Jacob Pitts star.
Paramount's boxing saga Against The Ropes was savaged by the critics and openedpoorly in seventh place on $3.1m, averaging $1,873 from 1,601 sites.
Meg Ryan plays the real-lifeboxing manager Jackie Kallan and must overcome all manner of social and personalhurdles to give her fighter a title shot. It averaged a dismal $1,873 from1,601 venues.
Directed by Charles S Dutton, Against The Ropes also stars Omar Epps, Tony Shalhoub andDutton himself. The picture was originally scheduled to open in April 2003 but was pushed back because of the Iraq war.
Elsewhere Buena Vista's Miracle skipped one place to third on $8m for $50.5m in itsthird week and MGM's Barbershop 2: Back In Business also passed the half-century in its third week as itfell three to sixth on $6.3m for $53.2m.
Two heavyweight Oscarcontenders remain very much in the picture with one week to go before the 76thAcademy Awards.
Warner Bros' Mystic River climbed two to seventh on $3.1m for a$79.2m running total in its 20th week, while New Line's The Lord Of TheRings: The Return Of The King fell two to eighth on $2.8m for $361.1m in its 10th week.
The Return Of The King has now passed $1bn in global ticket sales; more comprehensiveresults are expected to be announced tomorrow (23).
Overall the top 12 pictures combined for $75.1m, roughly 21% lessthan the same period last year.
Next week's new releases include The Passion Of The Christ from Icon and Newmarket which opens onWednesday; Lions Gate and Miramax's dance sequel Dirty Dancing: HavanaNights, starring DiegoLuna and Romola Garai; Paramount's serial killer thriller Twisted, which stars Ashley Judd, Samuel LJackson and Andy Garcia; and Fox Searchlight's comedy Broken Lizard's ClubDread, starring directorJay Chandrasekhar and Steve Lemme.
Estimated Top Ten US Feb 20-22 2004
Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekendgross/Estimated total to date
1 (1) Fifty First Dates (Columbia) CTFDI $21m $72.3m
2 (-) Confessions Of A Teenage Drama Queen (Buena Vista) BVI $9.2m -
3 (2) Miracle (Buena Vista) BVI $8m $50.5m
4 (-) Welcome To Mooseport (Fox) Fox Int'l $7m -
5 (-) Eurotrip (DreamWorks) UIP $6.6m -
6 (3) Barbershop 2: Back In Business (MGM) Fox Int'l $6.3m $53.2m
7 (9) Mystic River (Warner Bros) Warner Bros Intl $3.1m $79.2m
8 (-) Against The Ropes (Paramount) UIP $3m -
9 (5) The Butterfly Effect (New Line) NLI $2.9m $53.1m
10 (8) The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (New Line) NLI $2.8m $361.1m