Ushering in whatis traditionally a quiet month while the studios fine-tune their end-of-yearslates, the teen thriller Swimfan opened top of the charts over the weekend with a $12.4m estimatedhaul. The film is being distributed by 20th Century Fox and wasproduced by New York's GreeneStreet Films, best known until now for InThe Bedroom, inconjunction with Michael Douglas' Further Films, whose credits includelast year's Don't Say A Word and One Night At McCool's. Swimfan was unfancied by the critics butsurpassed the studio's own expectations of $8m, averaging $4,354 from2,855 venues and drawing a 60% female crowd. Erika Christensen stars as a girlwho becomes obsessed with Jesse Bradford's school swimming champion. JohnPolson directed.
Holding on tosecond place was IFC Films' massive sleeper hit My Big Fat Wedding, which took $10.6m in its 21st weekendon release and has to date amassed $97m. The film is on course to overtake TheBlair Witch Project asthe biggest grossing small budget film ever to be released in North America.
Opening in thirdplace was the Franchise Pictures drama City By The Sea on $9.1m, averaging $3,550 from 2,575venues The picture is being distributed by Warner Bros for a fee and reportedlycost less than $40m to make. Robert De Niro stars as a New York City policeofficer who suspects his estranged son might be the chief suspect in a murderinvestigation. City By The Sea was directed by UK director Michael Caton-Jones and divided thecritics.
Disney's Signs slipped three places to fourth with $8mand a combined take to date of $205.8m after six weeks on release.
Columbia andRevolution Studios' action thriller XXX fell two places to fifth with a $5.5mhaul that brings its cumulative total to $131m. The picture is expected tofinish between $140m and $150m.
In ninth placewas the Columbia double bill of Spider-Man and Men In Black II, the studio's two biggest hits of the year that arebeing put out together in order to sustain interest ahead of the video releasesin October and November. Columbia is treating the double bill as a separate theatricaloffering; as such this weekend's $2m will not be added to either film'srespective cumulative grosses.
Overall, the top12 movies combined for a $60.8m box office, down less than 1% on the sameperiod last year and down 14% on last weekend. Next weekend's releasesinclude the MGM/UA comedy Barbershop starring Ice Cube and Columbia's comedy StealingHarvard, which stars TomGreen.Estimated Top Ten US September 6-8, 2002
Film (Distributor)/Internationaldistribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimated total to date
1 (-) Swimfan (20th Century Fox) Cobalt Media $12.4m--
2 (2) My BigFat Greek Wedding (IFC)Vortex Pictures $10.6m $97m
3 (-) City ByThe Sea (Warner Bros) WarnerBros/Franchise Pictures $9.1m --
4 (1) Signs (Buena Vista) BVI International $8m$205.8m
5 (3) XXX (Columbia) Columbia TriStar/Revolution$5.5m $131m
6 (4) SpyKids 2: The Island Of Lost Dreams (Miramax) BVI $3m $73.9m
7 (6) AustinPowers In Goldmember (NewLine) New Line International $2.8m $207.1m
8 (5) FearDot Com (Warner Bros)Warner Bros $2.3m $14m
9 (-) Spider-Man/MenIn Black II (Columbia)Columbia TriStar $2m --
10 (7) BlueCrush (Universal) UIP$1.8m $37.2m