The delayed Foxthriller Phone Boothrang up a modest $15m number one opening gross over the weekend as box officefigures were sluggish for the fourth weekend in a row. Despite two other largeopeners following close behind in second and third places, the general lack ofinspiring films compounded the "war effect" as audiences continued to eschewthe big screen.
In PhoneBooth, Colin Farrellplays a publicist trapped in a Manhattan phone booth at the mercy of a sniper,a delicious premise that enraptured the critics and drew very good reviews.
Forest Whitaker,Katie Holmes and Kiefer Sutherland co-star and the film was directed by JoelSchumacher, for whom Farrell also starred in 2000's Tigerland and appears in the drama VeronicaGuerin later this year. PhoneBooth averaged $6,056 in2,481 theatres.
The film wasoriginally set for release last November but was held back due to the ongoingBeltway sniper shootings around Washington DC.
Opening insecond on $12.1m was Warner Bros' What A Girl Wants, which averaged $4,068 in 2,964 sites.It concerns a spirited American teenager's attempts to bond with the father shenever knew in London.
Amanda Bynes andColin Firth take the leads and there is support from Kelly Preston. DennieGordon directed (his last film was Joe Dirt).
In third on$11.2m was New Line's A Man Apart, which sees a locked and loaded Vin Diesel take arms against adrug cartel. It had so-so reviews and averaged $4,534 in 2,459 theatres.
A Man Apart was directed by F Gary Gray, who made TheNegotiator in 1998 andreturns next month with the remake of The Italian Job.
The rest of thetop 10 shunted down a few spaces, with Buena Vista's Bringing Down The House slipping three places to fifth on $8.5mfor a terrific $111.3m cumulative total in its fifth week on release.
Down three toeighth was Miramax's Chicago, adding $5.3m for a laudable $152.2m running total in its 15thweek.
Eddie Griffin'sstand-up comedy film DysFunKtional Family opened on $1.1m through Dimension in 602 theatres for afeeble $1,827 per-theatre average. Neil Jordan's The Good Thief, which stars Nick Nolte, took a strong$137,626 on limited opening.
Overall boxoffice for the top 12 films was $84m, which represents a 10% drop against thesame period last year. All figures are studio estimates and will be confirmedthis week.
Next weekend'sreleases include Sony/Revolution's comedy Anger Management, with Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson;and Buena Vista's Titanic documentary, Ghosts Of The Abyss, featuring James Cameron and BillPaxton.
Estimated TopTen US April 4-6, 2003
Film(Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend
gross/Estimatedtotal to date
1 (-) PhoneBooth (Fox) FoxInternational $15m --
2 (-) What AGirl Wants (Warner Bros)Warner Bros $12.1m --
3 (-) A ManApart (New Line) NLI$11.2m --
4 (1) Head ofState (Dreamworks) UIP$8.8m $25.3m
5 (2) BringingDown The House (BuenaVista) BVI $8.5m $111.3m
6 (3) TheCore (Paramount) UIP$6.3m $20.9m
7 (4) Basic (Columbia/Intermedia) Intermedia $5.4m$20m
8 (5) Chicago (Miramax) Miramax International $5.3m$152.2m
9(7) Agent Cody Banks (MGM) FoxInternational $3.7m $40.1m
10 (8) Piglet'sBig Movie (Buena Vista)BVI $3m $17m