It was a triumphant weekend for Miramax Films at the box office as its $35m Spy Kids, one of its first production forays into family entertainment, took a massive $27m through genre label Dimension Films.

The film played on 3,104 screens for an average of $8,698. A strong opening was expected for the film, conceived and directed by Robert Rodriguez and recently screened to exhibitors at ShoWest, but $27m exceeded even Dimension's expectations. Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino star in the film as married secret agents who are kidnapped by a deranged children's TV presenter (Alan Cumming) and whose own kids (Daryl Sabara & Alexa Vega) come to their rescue. A sequel has already been greenlit to the film, sold internationally by Miramax International.

Two other films opened wide over the weekend. Someone Like You, a critically hammered romantic comedy formerly known as Animal Husbandry and starring Ashley Judd, Hugh Jackman and Greg Kinnear, opened at number two with a moderate $10.3m. Meanwhile Tomcats, the debut film from Joe Roth's Revolution Studios, was both critically hammered and a commercial disappointment. Taking just $6.5m, the bawdy teen comedy starring Jerry O'Connell, had been heavily marketed across the country but failed to capture the American Pie/Roadtrip market it was clearly pursuing.

Still strong at number three was MGM/Winchester Films' Heartbreakers which fell just 30% with $8.2m, bringing its ten-day total to $23.5m. Also holding up well after their Oscar victories were Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon from Sony Pictures Classics and Traffic from USA Films which took $5m and $4.2m respectively. Buoyed by Spy Kids, the box office was up 11% from the same weekend last year, ending a three-week slump.

Estimated Top Ten US Films (March 30th -April 1st)

Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend
gross/Estimated total to date
1 (-) Spy Kids (Dimension) Miramax International $27m --
2 (-) Someone Like You (20th Century Fox) 20th Century Fox $10.3m --
3 (1) Heartbreakers (MGM) Winchester Films $8.2m $23.5m
4 (-) Tomcats (Columbia) Revolution/Columbia TriStar $6.5m --
5 (2) The Brothers (Screen Gems) Columbia TriStar $5.8m $18.3m
6 (4) Enemy At The Gates (Paramount) Mandalay/UIP $5.3m $34.2m
7 (3) Exit Wounds (Warner Bros) Warner/Village Roadshow $5.2m $41.1m
8 (6) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Sony Classics) Good Machine
International $5m $113m
9 (7) Traffic (USA Films) IEG $4.2m $113.9m
10 (5) The Mexican (DreamWorks) Newmarket/UIP $2.6m $62m