Warner Bros' R-rated action thriller Swordfish was number one at the North American box office over a static weekend, taking an OK $18.4m over its first three days on release although the generally poor reviews for the film and heavyweight action competition next week from Tomb Raider don't bode well for a long play in theatres.

Produced by Joel Silver and playing on 2,678 sites, Swordfish star John Travolta as a crime lord planning a daring bank robbery with the help of master computer hacker Hugh Jackman. Halle Berry plays his busty sidekick and Don Cheadle the cop on his tail. Dominic Sena, who directed last summer's critically slammed actioner Gone In 60 Seconds, also directed this one.

Meanwhile, climbing from 3,661 theatres to a massive 3,715 (the largest number of sites played ever), DreamWorks' animated phenomenon Shrek dipped only 39% in its fourth weekend on release to take $17.1m, bringing its total to $176.6m. The film is on course to rival Disney's biggest animated hits The Lion King, Toy Story and Toy Story 2, although quite it is just over halfway up to The Lion King's total gross figure of $312m.

Disney's own latest animated film Atlantis: The Lost Empire opened on two screens over the weekend and took a mighty $341,000. Reviews for the non-musical film have not been up to the standard of previous Disney hits and its true box office value will be evaluated when it goes wide next weekend.

Also opening this weekend was sci-fi comedy Evolution directed by Ivan Reitman and starring David Duchovny, Orlando Jones, Seann William Scott and Julianne Moore. Distributed by DreamWorks SKG and Columbia TriStar internationally, the film grossed $13.2m.

Meanwhile Buena Vista's Pearl Harbor fell another 50% to third place with $14.9m. Its three week gross is $144.1m. Box office was only up 1.9% on the same weekend last year due to key basketball and hockey games on TV and generally good weather.


Film (Distributor) International distribution Estimated weekend gross Estimated total to date

  • (-) Swordfish (Warner Bros) Warner Bros $18.4m --
  • (2) Shrek (DreamWorks SKG) UIP $17.1m $176.6m
  • (1) Pearl Harbor (Buena Vista) BVI $14.9m $144.1m
  • (-) Evolution (DreamWorks SKG) Columbia TriStar $13.2m --
  • (3) The Animal (Columbia) Revolution/Columbia TriStar $9.8m $35.8m
  • (4) Moulin Rouge (20th Century Fox) Fox International $7.6m $27.5m
  • (5) What's The Worst That Could Happen' (MGM) UIP/Hyde Park $5.4m $22.2m
  • (6) The Mummy Returns (Universal) UIP $4.2m $188.2m
  • (7) A Knight's Tale (Columbia) Columbia TriStar $1.7m $52.7m
  • (8) Bridget Jones' Diary (Miramax) UIP/StudioCanal $1.2m $67.4m