BuenaVista International (BVI) scored a hit this weekend with its
Alaskan-setthriller Insomnia. Opening with an impressive $1.8m
(£1.16m)over the three-day weekend, the film saw off all comers to claim the
numberone slot in the chart.
Thelatest film from British director Christopher Nolan (whose previous
titleMemento grossed $2.4m for Pathe in 2000 and went on to build a
strongfollowing on video) Insomnia played 264 sites scoring a powerful
averageof $6,800 - over $2,500 per screen higher than the film with the next
highestaverage of the week, second-placed The Guru. The thriller grossed
$327,768(£211,738) from 16 sites in London's West End alone.
Aswell as outperforming recent potential blockbusters such as UIP's
The Sum Of All Fears, which opened with $1.77m (£1.14m) at 346 sitesthree
weeksago, Insomnia also gave BVI its second biggest opening weekend of the
year- behind February's Monsters, Inc. which grossed $10.0m (£6.5m) in its
openingthree days. This put it ahead of the company's entire summer slate
whichincluded Spy Kids 2: The Island Of Lost Dreams (now at seven after four
weekson release with a tally of $5.1m) and last week's release Reign
Of Fire ($3.6m after 10 days on release and currentlyfourth-placed).
Insomniafollows a Los Angeles cop's sleepless investigation of a small-town
Alaskanmurder he is sent to investigate during the Alaskan summer period of
24-hourdaylight. It is a remake of Erik Skjoldbjaerg's 1997 Norwegian film of
thesame name which featured Stellan Skarsgard in the lead. Nolan's version
boastsa stellar cast including Academy Award-winners Al Pacino, Robin
Williamsand Hilary Swank.
Theweek's other openers fared less well. Columbia TriStar's comedy The
Sweetest Thing, starring Cameron Diaz, disappointed with $917,526
(£592,722)from 307 sites to take fifth position. Equally lacklustre was 20th
CenturyFox's Windtalkers. Directed by John Woo and starring Nicolas Cage, the
waraction-drama managed only ninth position with $600,947 (£388,212) at
Howeverfailing even to secure a place in the top 15, the real disaster
camein the form of critically-mauled Eddie Murphy comedy, Pluto Nash from
WarnerBros. With just $135,418 (£87,480) from 159 sites the film achieved the
dubioushonour of having one of the year's 15 weakest site averages at
UIP'sThe Guru played well in its second week, dropping off 33% from
itsopening taking $1.6m (£1.0m) from 371 sites for an average of $4,253.
Columbia'sMen In Black II placed third with $1.2m (£782,639) from 428
sitesover the weekend bringing its total UK gross to $31.4m (£20.3m) after
MIIBis one of three films, with Warner's Scooby-Doo and Fox's Minority
Report, to pass the $30m (£20m) mark in the UK during the pastweek. Five
otherstitles had already succeeded in doing so in 2002: Monsters, Inc.,
Ocean's Eleven, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones, Spider-Man and
Austin Powers In Goldmember.