Hero knockedBVI/Miramax stablemate Shall We Dance'off the top of the chart with an opening gross for the four-day weekend ofNZ$203,246 from 23 screens. The result gave the Zhang Yimou action pic a screenaverage more than three times that of any other film in the top 20.

Shall We Dance'had been leader of the pack for two weeks and only dropped 8.2% in ticket salescompared to the previous weekend. Nevertheless it nearly lost the second spotto another opener Without A Paddle,which grossed NZ$145,359 from 44 screens for UIP compared to the NZ$145,472from 58 screens taken in ticket sales by ShallWe Dance' The fact that Without APaddle was shot in New Zealand would have added to its attraction.

The only other opener that made it into the top 20 on the weekendwas Exorcist - The Beginning. It justscraped into the top five - Taxi, inits second weekend for Fox, was fourth - with a gross of NZ$73,991 from 26screens for Roadshow. Snapping at its heels was The Manchurian Candidate in its second weekend.