Miramax's epic Heroremained the number one picture over Labor Day Weekend, beating off thenon-existent challenge of a quartet of wide releases in one of the most anaemicend-of-summer holiday weekends in recent history.
Hero added an estimated $11.5m in its second weekend toraise its running total to $35.2m, while Paramount's comedy Without A Paddleranked second on $9.4m in its third weekend and Sony's Anacondasfinished third on $8m.
Twentieth Century Fox'sthriller Paparazzi fared the best of the new releases, opening fourth on$7.8m, followed in sixth place by MGM's thriller Wicker Park on $6.7m,Focus Features' Vanity Fair in eighth on $6.12m, and Lions Gate's comedyThe Cookout in ninth on $6.1m.
Paparazzi stars Tom Sizemore as a tabloid photographerinvolved in an accident that incurs the wrath of a vengeful celebrity. ColeHauser and Dennis Farina also appear in Paul Abascal's poorly received picture.
In Wicker Park, aremake of Gilles Mimouni's 1996 French thriller L'Appartement, JoshHartnett's unhealthy obsession with a beautiful woman creates all sorts ofproblems, not the least of which appeared to be the quality of Paul McGuigan'spicture, which drew poor reviews.
Vanity Fair stars Reese Witherspoon in a bravura turn as BeckySharp, the conniving social climber and central character in WilliamThackeray's 19th satire.
Director Mira Nair addsspice and injects the story with a hearty dose of girl power, although thecritics were divided about the merits of this awards season contender.
The Cookout, about a group of friends who attend a riotouscelebratory barbeque, elicited a withering response from the critics and starsQueen Latifah and Quran Pedner. Lance Rivera directed.
Overall, the top 12 moviesof the four-day weekend grossed $83.4m, roughly 21% lower than the same periodlast year.
Next weekend's wide releasesinclude the horror sequel Resident Evil: Apocalypse, starring MillaJovovich and Sienna Guillory, through Screen Gems; and New Line's thriller Cellular,which stars Kim Basinger and Chris Evans.
Estimated Top Ten US Sept3-6 2004
Film(Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimatedtotal to date
1 (1) Hero (Miramax) MiramaxInt'l $11.5m $35.3m
2 (3) Without A Paddle (Paramount) UIP $9.4m $40.2m
3 (2) Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid (Screen Gems) CTFDI $8m$23.9m
4 (-) Paparazzi (Fox) Fox Int'l $7.9m -
5 (4) Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement (Buena Vista) BVI $7.3m$85.3m
6 (-) Wicker Park (MGM) Lakeshore Int'l $6.8m -
7 (6) Collateral (DreamWorks) UIP $6.5m $88.9m
8 (-) Vanity Fair (Focus Features) UIP $6.12 $7.3m
9 (-) The Cookout (Lions Gate) LGI $6.1m -
10 (9) The Bourne Supremacy (Universal) UIP $5.4m $164.8m