Sony's romantic comedy Hitchopened on an estimated $45.3m at the weekend in what was the biggest everlaunch for a romantic comedy.
Will Smith stars as a date doctor who claims he can find anybody's perfectmatch within three days. Eva Mendes and Kevin James also star in Andy Tennant'spicture, which drew strong reviews and averaged an excellent $12,671 on 3,575screens.
The previous opening record for a romantic comedy was $39.9m set by 50 FirstDates - another Sony release -almost exactly a year ago to the day.
In fact Sony was writ large over the charts this weekend, claiming the topthree titles as Boogeyman slipped to second on $10.8m for $33.3m in itssecond weekend, and Are We There Yet' stayed in third on $8.5m for$61.5m in its fourth.
Warner Bros' Million Dollar Baby climbed one place to fourth and hasreached $45.1m after nine weekends, while Buena Vista's Pooh's HeffalumpMovie opened to excellent reviews in fifth place on $6m.
Frank Nissen directed the latest animated tale inspired by the Winnie the Poohstories, and the picture averaged $2,376 on 2,529 screens.
Twentieth Century Fox's thriller Hide And Seek fell three to seventh andraised its total to $43.6m after three weekends. Sideways stayed eighthon $53.1m after 17 and The Aviator fell three to ninth and has taken$82.3m after nine.
Universal's Meet The Fockers fell three places to tenth and the comedysequel has amassed $269.9m after eight weekends.
Next weekend's wide releases include Warner Bros' comic book adaptation Constantinestarring Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz; Twentieth Century Fox's familyrelease Because Of Winn-Dixie starring Jeff Daniels and Eva Marie Saint; and NewLine's comedy sequel Son Of The Mask, which stars Alan Cumming and JamieKennedy.
Estimated Top Ten US Feb 11-13 2005
Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimatedtotal to date
1 (-) Hitch (Sony) SPRI $45.3m -
2 (1) Boogeyman (Sony/Ghost House Pictures) Mandate Pictures $10.8m$33.3m
3 (3) Are We There Yet' (Columbia/Revolution) SPRI $8.5m $61.5m
4 (5) Million Dollar Baby (Warner Bros) Warner Bros Int'l $7.6m $45.1m
5 (-) Pooh's Heffalump Movie (Buena Vista) BVI $6m -
6 (2) The Wedding Date (Universal) Mandate Pictures $5.6m $19.5m
7 (4) Hide And Seek (Fox) Fox Int'l $5.6m $43.6m
8 (8) Sideways (Fox Searchlight) Fox Int'l $4.8m $53.1m
9 (6) The Aviator (Miramax) Miramax Int'l $4.6m $82.3m
10 (7) Meet The Fockers (Universal) DreamWorks Int'l $3.4m $269.9m