Several tried but ultimately no newcomer could topple the might of Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets and Die Another Day, which combined for a one-two ranking over the three-day portion of a solid Thanksgiving Weekend and switched positions over the full five-day holiday. According to studio estimates released today (Sunday), Chamber Of Secrets took $32.2m in its third weekend for a $200.2m cumulative score. The Warner Bros picture became the sixth of the year to pass $200m behind Spider-Man, Signs, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones, Austin Powers In Goldmember and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It passed the mark two days later than predecessor Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone, which grossed $220m in the same period. Chamber Of Secrets also passed $200m internationally after another superb overseas run that brought in around $55m.
MGM's Die Another Day finished a close second on $31m for a $100.6m running score in its second week. Averaging $9,326 from 3,324 venues, the 20th James Bond instalment has now scored a precious $100m for its beleaguered studio within 10 days, smashing the previous best mark for a Bond, which was 26 days set by 1999's The World Is Not Enough. Die Another Day ruled the five-day holiday period, however, taking $46.3m compared to $45.8m for Chamber Of Secrets.
Some way behind in third was Buena Vista's The Santa Clause 2, which climbed one to third with $12.3m for a $113.9m cumulative score in its fifth week. Opening in fourth was stablemate Treasure Planet with a highly disappointing $11.9m from three days and $16.5m from five with respective averages of $3,687 and $5,113 from 3,227 theatres. Despite good reviews, the space-age version of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island failed to reach the $25m opening haul the studio executives had been hoping for but should display strong legs during the Christmas season. Adam Sandler's 8 Crazy Nights opened in fifth for Columbia with $10.1m from three days and $15.1m from five. The poorly received animated Hanukkah tale averaged $4,035 and $6,032 respectively from 2,503 sites.
Fox's Solaris, Stephen Soderbergh's remake of Stanislaw Lem's novel, opened in seventh place on $6.78m from three days and $9.45m from five. The critics liked the film, in which George Clooney plays a widower psychologist summoned to a haunted space station. Natascha McElhone co-stars. It averaged $2,817 (three days) and $3,927 (five days) from 2,406 sites. Radar Pictures' thriller Wes Craven Presents: They opened in ninth place on $5.7m and $8m for five days. Laura Regan stars as a traumatised psychology student with a pathological fear of the dark. The picture was released under Miramax's Dimension Films banner and garnered mixed reviews, averaging $3,529 for three days and $4,953 for five from 1,615 venues. Down three to eighth was Universal's drama 8 Mile, which added $5.91m in its fourth weekend for $107.57m. Twenty-one pictures have grossed more than $100m each this year, which is one behind 2000's record. New Line's The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers opens on Dec 20 and will almost certainly equal the record before year's end.
Bottoming out the table was Universal's The Ring, which added $5.5m in its seventh week for a superb $120m running total. Paramount's snowboarding action vehicle Extreme Ops flopped after dire reviews. It opened out of the top ten on $2.3m from three days and $3.1m from five. IFC's My Big Fat Greek Wedding exited the top ten, finishing 11th on $4.1m for a $210.7m cumulative score. Overall the top 12 movies grossed $196.1m from Wednesday to Sunday, down 1.6% on Thanksgiving Weekend last year.
Estimated Top Ten US November 29-December 1, 2002
Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimated total to date
1 (2) Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets (Warner Bros) Warner Bros $32.17m $200.21m
2 (1) Die Another Day (MGM) Fox $31m $100.62m
3 (4) The Santa Clause 2 (Buena Vista) BVI $12.3m $113.9m
4 (-) Treasure Planet (Buena Vista) BVI $11.9m $16.5m
5 (-) Adam Sandler's 8 Crazy Nights (Columbia) Columbia TriStar $10.1m $15.1m
6 (3) The Friday After Next (New Line) New Line International $7.75m $25.61m
7 (-) Solaris (Fox) Fox International $6.78m $9.45m
8 (5) 8 Mile (Universal) UIP $5.91m $107.57m
9 (-) Wes Craven Presents: They (Miramax) Radar Pictures/Focus Features $5.7m $8m
10 (6) The Ring (DreamWorks) UIP $5.5m $120m