Disney's Signs returned to top spot over the weekend with a $14.3m haul that brings its total after four weekends to $173.m, according to studio estimates released today. The renewed surge by M Night Shyamalan's supernatural thriller spooked Columbia's XXX into second place on $13.7m and a $106.7m cumulative score after three weekends. The Vin Diesel action vehicle is the 13th $100m movie of the year and the fourth to come from Columbia's prized vaults. The three openers to make the top ten, Paramount and Mandalay Pictures' Serving Sara, Miramax's Undisputed and New Line's Simone, did so without much fanfare as the top 12 movies combined for $63.9m - the lowest score since September 21-23 last year.
With no major releases scheduled for Labour Day holiday next weekend the summer is on target to better its 2001 counterpart by the width of a ticket stub. Indeed the paucity of high grossers makes Spider-Man's sensational early season opening seem like a very distant memory. Signs averaged $4,158 from 3,453 theatres and studio chiefs expect the Mel Gibson starrer to finish around $220m. XXX averaged $3,895 from 3,517 venues and is expected to amass $150m. Spy Kids 2 rose one place to third with a $7.8m gross that gives it a running total of $58.6m after three weekends. IFC Films' My Big Fat Greek Wedding continued its astonishing run as the sleeper hit of the year, rising two places to fourth on $7.8m. More than four months after its release the comedy refuses to die and to date has grossed a little over $64m.
Serving Sara, which was produced by Mandalay Pictures and is being distributed by Paramount domestically and Summit internationally, opened in sixth place on $6.1m. The comedy was directed by Reginald Hudlin and stars Matthew Perry and Elizabeth Hurley as strangers who hatch a get-rich-quick scam. It received poor reviews, averaging $2,820 from 2,154 venues. Walter Hill's boxing drama Undisputed opened in eighth place for Miramax on $4.7m. Ving Rhames stars as the undisputed boxing champion of the world who is accused of raping a woman and sent to prison where he must confront the prison boxing champion played by Wesley Snipes. Averaging $4,264 from 1,102 theatres, the movie opened to fairly decent reviews. In ninth place was New Line's self-styled "sythespian" drama Simone, which garnered poor reviews and grossed $4.1m. Al Pacino stars as a producer who digitally creates an actress when his star walks off the set. The picture was directed by Andrew Niccol and averaged $2,109 from 1,920 theatres.
Next weekend's wide releases include the Warner Bros/Franchise Pictures thriller feardotcom starring Stephen Dorff and Natascha McElhone.
ESTIMATED TOP TEN US AUGUST 23-25, 2002
Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimated total to date
1 (2) Signs (Buena Vista) BVI International $14.36m $173.2m
2 (1) XXX (Columbia) Columbia TriStar/Revolution $13.7m $106.7m
3 (4) Spy Kids 2: The Island Of Lost Dreams (Miramax) BVI $7.8m $58.53m
4 (6) My Big Fat Greek Wedding (IFC) Vortex Pictures $7.58m $64.01m
5 (3) Blue Crush (Universal) UIP $6.5m $26.4m
6 (-) Serving Sara (Paramount) Summit Entertainment $6.08m $6.08m
7 (5) Austin Powers In Goldmember (New Line) New Line International $5.63m $193.96m
8 (-) Undisputed (Miramax) Nu Image $4.7m $4.7m
9 (-) S1m0ne (New Line) New Line International $4.05m $4.05m
10 (7) Blood Work (Warner Bros) Warner Bros $2.86m $20.23m