As expected, Warner Bros dominated the box office over the weekend with the release of star-packed Ocean's Eleven and the continued run of Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone. Ocean's Eleven opened in the top spot with a massive estimated $39.26m on 3,075 screens, while Harry Potter took $14.8m to bring its total to $239.7m. The studio had a weekend market share of abourt 65%.
Well-reviewed by critics, Ocean's Eleven looks likely to be director Steven Soderbergh's third consecutive $100m smash after Erin Brockovich and Traffic last year. Starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia and Julia Roberts, it has been a favourite magazine cover story for several weeks now across North America, with members of the cast also appearing on every talk show in the land.
Ocean's Eleven scored the highest December opening of any film in history (beating What Women Want from 2000), the biggest December Friday ($13.25m) take in history and the biggest opening ever for a Julia Roberts movie. Warner Bros also passed the $1bn barrier last week in domestic box office and should easily eclipse its own personal best of $1.06bn before the end of the year.
Despite its success, however, the weekend was down marginally from the same weekend from last year. Other films such as Behind Enemy Lines and Spy Game suffered big drops (57% and 58% respectively); the marketplace will no doubt be galvanised next weekend when Tom Cruise-starrer Vanilla Sky opens through Paramount Pictures.
Other limited openings included IFC Films' The Business Of Strangers on eight screens for an estimated $77,000; United Artists' award-winning No Man's Land on two screens for a total of $23,000 and Miramax Films' Baran on two screens for an estimated $19,000.
ESTIMATED TOP TEN US DEC 7-9
Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimated total to date
1 (-) Ocean's Eleven (Warner Bros) Warner Bros $39.3m --
2 (1) Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone (Warner Bros) Warner Bros $14.8m $239.7m
3 (2) Behind Enemy Lines (20th Century Fox) Fox International $8.1m $31.2m
4 (4) Monsters Inc (Buena Vista) BVI $6.7m $212.5m
5 (3) Spy Game (Universal) Beacon Pictures $4.6m $54.1m
6 (5) Black Knight (20th Century Fox) Fox International $3.2m $27.2m
7 (6) Shallow Hal (20th Century Fox) Fox International $2.5m $64.7m
8 (7) Out Cold (Buena Vista) BVI/Spyglass $1.4m $12.3m
9 (9) Amelie (Miramax) UGC International $1.1m $11.4m
10 (8) Domestic Disturbance (Paramount) Lakeshore International/UIP $0.9m $43.7m