Thriller queen Ashley Juddcouldn't beat out Jodie Foster to the top spot at the North American boxoffice over the weekend, as Panic Room reigned for the second weekend in a row with an estimated $18.5m take.Judd's latest High Crimesin which she is reteamed with Kiss The Girls co-star Morgan Freeman took an estimated $15m for 20thCentury Fox in the second position.

Columbia Pictures' PanicRoom has now grossed $58.8m in itsfirst ten days and fell 38% to lead the box office to another strong weekend,17% higher than the same weekend last year. Indeed, the box office to date iin2002 is now some 15% ahead of last year and estimates are already being madethat this year could see the $9bn barrier being broken. Panic Room itself should hit $100m in the next few weeks,joining three other films toplining Foster - The Silence Of The Lambs in 1991, Maverick in 1994 and Contact in 1997.

High Crimes is the latest feature from acclaimed director CarlFranklin (Devil In A Blue Dress, One False Move, One True Thing). Judd plays an attorney whose husband is arrestedon murder charges and who sets about to uncover the truth behind theallegations. Freeman and Jim Caviezel co-star. Reviews were mixed-to-poor forthe film but its pedigree brought it a strong debut.

Grossing an okay estimated$7.5m for the fifth spot was National Lampoon's Van Wilder, a college campus grossout comedy starring RyanReynolds and Tara Reid, which was fully financed by independent Myriad Picturesand released domestically by Artisan Entertainment.

Big disappointment of theweek was Buena Vista's ensemble comedy Big Trouble directed by Barry Sonnenfeld (Men In Black, WildWild West) which took just $3.7m forthe eighth position. Delayed from its scheduled opening last September becauseits subject matter - it's about a nuclear bomb in a suitcase whichends up being activated on board a plane - was deemed inappropriate forpost-9/11 America, Big Trouble isnevertheless a very light comedy. It features a large cast including Tim Allen,Rene Russo, Stanley Tucci, Tom Sizemore, Ben Foster, Johnny Knoxville, JasonLee, Janeane Garofalo and Zooey Deschanel.


Film(Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimatedtotal to date

1 (1) Panic Room (Columbia) Columbia TriStar $18.5m $58.8m

2 (-) High Crimes (20th Century Fox) Fox International $15m--

3 (2) Ice Age (20th Century Fox) Fox International$14.3m $141.4m

4 (3) The Rookie (Buena Vista) BVI $11.7m $35m

5 (-) NationalLampoon's Van Wilder (Artisan)Myriad Pictures $7.5m --

6 (5) Clockstoppers (Paramount) UIP $7.3m $22.5m

7 (4) Blade II (New Line) New Line International $7.2m $67.1m

8 (-) Big Trouble (Buena Vista) BVI $3.7m --

9 (6) ET - TheExtra-Terrestrial (Universal) UIP$3.3m $30.5m

10 (8) A Beautiful Mind (Universal) DreamWorks/UIP $2.8m $165.2m