Revenge sagas continued todominate the box office as Twentieth Century Fox's Man On Fire opened top on an estimated $23m, narrowly edging outColumbia/Revolution's romantic comedy 13 Going On 30 in second place on $22m.
If the figures hold and Man On Fire has indeed won what the media has lamelybeen talking up all week as a battle of the sexes, the opening will representDenzel Washington's biggest ever bow, passing $22.6m for Training Day in 2001.
Either way studio executives saidthis was the first time two pictures both opened above $20m in April andboosted the top 12 box office to $83.7m, up 12% against the same period lastyear.
Man On Fire received mediocre reviews and averaged $7,723 from 2,978 sites.Washington plays an alcoholic ex-Marine who embarks on a brutal killing spreein Mexico City to avenge a girl's kidnapping.
Tony Scott directed the $70m picture and Dakota Fanning,Christopher Walken and Radha Mitchell also star.
In 13 Going On 30, which drew mostly positive reviews and averaged $6,399 from3,438 sites, Jennifer Garner plays a gawky 13 year-old girl who wakes up oneday as the successful 30 year-old woman she wishes she will become. MarkRuffalo, Judy Greer and Andy Serkis also star in Gary Winick's picture.
Miramax's Kill Bill Vol 2 slipped two places to third on $10.4m for a $42.9m runningtotal, while Lions Gate's The Punisher fell two to fourth on $6.1m for $24m - both in their secondweeks.
Buena Vista's Home On The Range stayed put in fifth place on $3.5m for$42.5m in its fourth week. Newmarket's The Passion Of The Christ fell out of the top 10 for the firsttime in its nine-week run, adding $2.1m for $364.3m.
Next weekend's wide releases include the Dreamworks comedy Envy starring Ben Stiller and Jack Black;Lions Gate's horror picture Godsend starring Robert De Niro, Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos;New Line's romantic comedy Laws Of Attraction starring Pierce Brosnan and JulianneMoore; and Paramount's comedy Mean Girls, which stars Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams.
Estimated Top Ten US Apr 23-25 2004
Film(Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimatedtotal to date
1 (-) Man On Fire (Fox) Fox International/New Regency $23m -
2 (-) 13 Going On 30 (Columbia/Revolution) CTFDI $22m -
3 (1) Kill Bill Vol 2 (Miramax) Miramax International $10.4m $42.9m
4 (2) The Punisher (Lions Gate) Summit/Columbia TriStar $6.1m $24m
5 (5) Home On The Range (Buena Vista) BVI $3.5m $42.5m
6 (3) Johnson Family Vacation (Fox Searchlight) Fox International $3.2m $25.1m
7 (6) Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (Warner Bros) Warner Bros Intl $3.1m$76.5m
8(4) Hellboy (Columbia/Revolution) CTFDI $3m $54.7m
9 (8) Ella Enchanted (Miramax) Miramax International $2.7m $17.2m
10 (7) WalkingTall (MGM) 20th CenturyFox/Hyde Park $2.7m $40.5m