The Lord Of The Rings continued to dominate the North American box office crossing the $200m barrier with a $23m take in its third weekend, while Warner Bros' Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone crossed the $300m mark after eight weeks on release.
Playing at 3,381 theatres, the epic three hour fantasy should easily break the $300m barrier especially with the awards momentum gathering in its favour. On Saturday, it was named best picture of the year at the AFI Awards and it is Golden Globe nominated for best picture and best director.
Harry Potter, meanwhile, is finally on its way out, this week taking $6.1m to bring its total gross to $300.6m. It should cross the $800m mark in worldwide grosses sometime this week.
Widening to 1,853 sites for a terrific $17m was Universal's Oscar hopeful A Beautiful Mind starring Russell Crowe as schizophrenic mathematical genius John Forbes Nash Jr and Jennifer Connelly as his wife. The film is another hit for director Ron Howard. Also doing strong business in its fourth weekend was Buena Vista's comedy The Royal Tenenbaums which took a mighty $8.8m on just 751 screens. The movie stars Gene Hackman, Anjeica Huston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Danny Glover. Its gross to date of $21m marks a huge specialised success for Disney, which has failed in the past to make its more sophisticated films work like Rushmore and The Insider.
The only wide opener this week was Dimension Films' long-delayed futuristic thriller Imposter starring Gary Sinise and Madeline Stowe. The Gary Fleder-directed movie grossed just $3.2m, finishing outside the top ten.
ESTIMATED TOP TEN US JAN 4-6
Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimated total to date
1 (1) The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (New Line) New Line International $23m $205.5m
2 (8) A Beautiful Mind (Universal) DreamWorks/UIP $17m $38.2m
3 (2) Ocean's Eleven (Warner Bros) Warner Bros $11.8m $152.7m
4 (3) Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (Paramount) UIP $9.2m $62.5m
5 (-) The Royal Tenenbaums (Buena Vista) BVI $8.8m $21.1m
6 (4) Ali (Columbia) Initial Entertainment Group $7.6m $50m
7 (6) Vanilla Sky (Paramount) UIP $7.4m $81.4m
8 (7) Kate & Leopold (Miramax) Miramax International $6.7m $31.1m
9 (5) Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone (Warner Bros) Warner Bros $6.1m $300.6m
10 (9) Monsters Inc (Buena Vista) $4m $244.8m