The Musketeer, an athletic new version of Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers, led the pack at the North American box office over the weekend as the fall season kicked in. Independently financed by producers Moshe Diamant and Rudy Cohen and Mark Damon's MDP Worldwide, the film grossed an estimated $10.7m at the box office for Universal Pictures for which it was an independent pick-up.
Peter Hyams directed the cast which includes Justin Chambers as D'Artagnan, Catherine Deneuve, Stephen Rea, Tim Roth, Nick Moran and Mena Suvari.
Box office was up some 40% from the same weekend last year when another Universal pick-up The Watcher topped the chart.
The weekend's second biggest opener with $8.3m was African American romantic comedy Two Can Play That Game which was produced and distributed by Sony Pictures' mid-budget releasing label Screen Gems. Written and directed by Mark Brown, the film stars Vivica Fox who devises a series of games to stop her boyfriend Morris Chestnut cheating. It's the second African American hit for Screen Gems, which grossed $27.5m with The Brothers earlier this year.
Meanwhile Warner Bros/Bel-Air Entertainment's rock drama Rock Star directed by Stephen Herek and starring Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston failed to take off at the box office, tying for third place with last week's number one picture Jeepers Creepers from UA. Both films took $6.2m.
Ongoing successes included Dimension Films' The Others which has now taken $67.6m and New Line's Rush Hour 2 which took $5.9m to bring its total to $206.1m. It is the second New Line film to cross the $200m barrier and this week overtook 1999's Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me to become the studio's biggest ever domestic hit.
ESTIMATED TOP TEN US SEPT 7-9
Film (Distributor) International distribution Estimated weekend gross Estimated total to date
1 (-) The Musketeer (Universal) MDP Worldwide $10.7m --
2 (-) Two Can Play That Game (Screen Gems) Columbia TriStar $8.3m --
3 tied (-) Rock Star (Warner Bros) Warner Bros/Bel-Air $6.2m --
4 tied (1) Jeepers Creepers (United Artists) VCL/Capitol Films $6.2m $24.3m
5 (4) The Others (Dimension) StudioCanal $6.1m $67.6m
6 (2) Rush Hour 2 (New Line) New Line International $5.9m $206.1m
7 (3) American Pie 2 (Universal) UIP $4.7m $131.2m
8 (5) Rat Race (Paramount) Fireworks Pictures $4.4m $43.2m
9 (6) The Princess Diaries (Buena Vista) BVI $3.4m $97.1m
10 (7) O (Lions Gate) Miramax International $2.7m $10.75m