Over a weekend during which just one opener broke into the Top 15; children's fare gained from the end of the half-term holiday and Gladiator took the BAFTA award for best picture, Ridley Scott's other box office behemoth, Hannibal, continued its reign at the top of the UK box office.
Taking $5,180,301 (£3,574,408) from 421 sites over the three-day weekend the thriller dropped 44% from its opening weekend but brought its total takings to $19,603,893. The UIP film is already in the rolling top-ten total grosses of the last 12 months after just 10 days on release. (See chart below).
The only wide-opener of the week, and only new entry to the top 15 was Columbia TriStar's Finding Forrester. The drama, directed by Gus Van Sant and starring Sir Sean Connery, took $553,365 (£381,822) and sixth place from the three-day period. Showing at 258 sites it saw a reasonable average of $2,145. West-end opener The Legend Of Bagger Vance will expect to enter the chart next week when it opens wide, but faces strong competition for chart places from four other major releases: Best Picture Oscar nominee Chocolat, Meg Ryan/Russell Crowe starrer Proof Of Life and Keanu Reeves double The Watcher and The Gift (also starring Cate Blanchett).
Still going strong are Entertainment's Traffic and Best Foreign-language BAFTA winner Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, distributed by Columbia TriStar. Seeing percentage drops of just 16% after 5 weeks on release and 13% after 8 weeks respectively, the films retain top 10 positions. Both films' successes are tributes to the marketing savvy of their distributors, as well as the power of strong word-of-mouth. Traffic, a sprawling thought-provoking ensemble piece, and Crouching Tiger, a mandarin-language martial-arts epic, could both be considered difficult to put across to a mass audience, but total grosses so far of $8.2m and $9.3m respectively defy this.
Taking full advantage of the end of the half-term week, children's fodder The Emperor's New Groove, The Adventures Of Rocky & Bullwinkle, Digimon: The Movie and 102 Dalmatians all saw substantial percentage rises in takings from the previous weekend. BVI's latest Disney offering The Emperor's New Groove fared best, moving up a place and taking the second position with $2,573,441 (£1,775,674) from 442 sites for a strong average of $5,822. BVI also saw its 102 Dalmatians jump up 70% and two chart places to number 13. 20th Century Fox's beleagured big screen Digimon film also saw a 20% rise from the previous weekend but had disappointingly managed just $1,175,654 after 10 days on release.
Top Ten Grossing films in UK in last 12 months
Title Distributor Release date Total gross in $ (£)
1 Gladiator UIP May 12 00 $44.8m (£30.9m)
2 Chicken Run Pathe June 30 00 $42.7m (£29.5m)
3 Stuart Little Col TriStar June 30 00 $25.8m (£17.8m)
4 Billy Elliot UIP Sept 29 00 $25.3m (£17.5m)*
5 Mission: Impossible 2 UIP July 7 00 $25.1m (£17.3m)
6 Meet The Parents UIP Dec 15 00 $22.3m (£15.4m)*
7 The Grinch UIP Dec 1 00 $22m (£15.2m)
8 X-Men 20th Fox Aug 18 00 $21.7m (£15m)
9 Cast Away UIP Jan 12 01 $20.3m (£14m)*
10 Hannibal UIP Feb 16 01 $19.6m (£13.5m)*
* still on major release