MGM had its second hit of the year with Heartbreakers, a mother-daughter con team comedy which grossed $12.3m over Oscar weekend to take the top spot at the North American box office.
Co-financed with upcoming UK independent Winchester Films, Heartbreakers had previewed over the last two Saturdays and generated strong word of mouth. Reviews were generally favourable for the film directed by David Mirkin and starring Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ray Liotta, Jason Lee and Gene Hackman.
Opening well at number two was $6m urban comedy The Brothers from Sony Pictures Entertainment's mid-budget range label Screen Gems - which had a hit earlier in the year with Snatch. The film written and directed by Gary Hardwick and starring Morris Chestnut and DL Hughley, grossed $10.7m at 1,378 theatres for an average of $7,765 per site.
The only other opener this weekend was 20th Century Fox's comedy Say It Isn't So, which bombed with just $3.1m at 1,973 theatres. Directed by JB Rogers and produced by Peter & Bobby Farrelly, the film stars Chris Klein and Heather Graham in a tale of suspected incest - a subject matter which surely put audiences off. Fox has already suffered one big flop this year with Monkeybone, and Say It Isn't So, with a screen average of just $1,572, looks like a second.
Box office was down from last year for the third consecutive weekend. It fell some 4% from the same period last year when Erin Brockovich was in its second weekend of release.
ESTIMATED TOP TEN US MARCH 23-25
Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimated total to date
1 (-) Heartbreakers (MGM) Winchester Films $12.3m --
2 (-) The Brothers (Screen Gems) Columbia TriStar $10.7m --
3 (1) Exit Wounds (Warner Bros) Warner/Villlage Roadshow $9.2m $32.6m
4 (2) Enemy At The Gates (Paramount) Mandalay/UIP $8.4m $26.2m
5 (6) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Sony Classics) Good Machine International $4.6m $106.3m
6 (3) The Mexican (DreamWorks) DreamWorks/Newmarket $4.3m $57.7m
7 (10) Traffic (USA Films) IEG $3.9m $107.6m
8 tied (9) Chocolat (Miramax) Miramax International $3.3m $60.6m
8 tied (4) See Spot Run (Warner Bros) Warner/Village Roadshow $3.3m $29.2m
10 (-) Say It Isn't So (20th Century Fox) 20th Century Fox $3.1m --