The sum of all grosses for The Sum Of All Fears was $18.7 million, enough to keep it in first place over a generally blah box office weekend.
Moviegoers said yeah-yeah to Ya-Ya, launching the summer's first chick flick, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, in second place to $16.4 million.
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones slid 34 percent to third place with $13.9 million. Bad Company opened fourth to a not-so-good $10.5 million. Spider-Man dropped 30 percent to fifth with $10 million.
Hollywood suffered across the board from the combination of beautiful East Coast weather, major sports competition -- including Friday's NBA basketball finals and Saturday's Stanley Cup hockey finals, Belmont Stakes horse race and Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson heavyweight championship fight -- and the absence of any new high profile event movie openings.
But even with the weekend's lackluster grosses, ticket sales were still nearly 9 percent ahead of this weekend last year. Key films -- those grossing $500,000 or more -- took in about $103 million versus last year's $94.4 million.
THE TOP TEN
Paramount's PG-13 rated thriller The Sum Of All Fears held on to the top spot in its second weekend with a still powerful ESTIMATED $18.7 million (-40%) at 3,218 theaters (+35 theaters; $5,811 per theater). Its cume is approximately $61.8 million.
Directed by Phil Alden Robinson and produced by Mace Neufeld, it stars Ben Affleck and Morgan Freeman.
"It didn't hold as well as I had hoped it would hold," Paramount distribution president Wayne Lewellen said Sunday morning, noting that the overall marketplace was "extremely soft yesterday."
Asked where Fears is heading, Lewellen replied, "I think it gets to $100 million and a little over, but we certainly had anticipated based on the opening level and the playability of the film that it would go far beyond that. So it's somewhat disappointing. But that's not to say that it can't come back."
What accounted for this weekend's softness across the board? "The quickest thing that jumps out is the fight last night," Lewellen said. "Then, of course, they had the hockey playoff that went into triple overtime. Do I believe that that's what all of this is (about)? No, I don't. I know that the East Coast had extraordinary weather yesterday. It was like 70 degrees and beautiful skies -- one of those '10' New York days, you know. And that always has an impact on you there. But I still find it difficult (to believe) the market is this far below where we had projected it even after we had the Friday figures."
Industry projections circulating Saturday morning had all of this weekend's top films doing considerably better than is reflected in their Sunday estimates. "I had us at $20.5 million yesterday," Lewellen explained, adding that he also had the other Top Five films doing better than they're reporting today.
Warner Bros. and Gaylord Films' PG-13 rated drama Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood kicked off in second place to a cheerful ESTIMATED $16.35 million at 2,507 theaters ($6,522 per theater).
Directed by Callie Khouri, it stars Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, Fionnula Flanagan, James Garner, Ashley Judd, Shirley Knight, Angus MacFadyen and Maggie Smith.
Ya-Ya's average per theater was the highest for any film playing this weekend.
"We're pleased with Ya-Ya. It's a solid opening," Warner Bros. Distribution president Dan Fellman said Sunday morning. "It performed better than we expected. We were looking at somewhere in the $15-16 million range."
Moviegoers liked the movie and, as a result, it should have favorable word of mouth. "Its CinemaScores and the exit polls that we conducted were great," Fellman said. "All the CinemaScores were A -- even for men. The audience was predominantly younger and older females, but the male response was very, very favorable. With good word of mouth, I think we'll be around for a long time.
"Callie Khouri did a great job. This opening becomes the personal best for Sandy Bullock, whose previous best opening was $14.8 million (for the weekend of July 26-28, 1996) on A Time To Kill."
20th Century Fox and Lucasfilm's PG rated franchise installment Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones dropped one notch to third place in its fourth week, holding well with an ESTIMATED $13.88 million (-34%) at 3,161 theaters (theater count unchanged; $4,391 per theater). Its cume is approximately $255.0 millio n, heading for $300 million or slightly more in domestic theaters.
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace took in $431.1 million in domestic theaters. Its worldwide total (domestic plus international) was $923 million.
Directed by George Lucas, it stars Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen.
Buena Vista/Touchstone and Jerry Bruckheimer Films' PG-13 rated action film Bad Company, whose plot involves CIA efforts to keep terrorists from obtaining a nuclear device, opened in fourth place to a disappointing ESTIMATED $10.5 million at 2,944 theaters ($3,553 per theater).
Directed by Joel Schumacher, it stars Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock.
"We had great talent and great filmmakers and they worked their butts off," Buena Vista Distribution president Chuck Viane said Sunday morning. "Unfortunately, as you know, in our business there are no guarantees. Kind of like yesterday's (Belmont Stakes) race where we all thought War Emblem (was the favorite) and he ends up finishing out of the money. Unfortunately, it looks like that happened to us. The good news is that it's a long summer and the CinemaScores were decent so we should be around for a while."
Asked if he thought the male appeal Company was hurt, for example, by the televised NBA finals, Viane replied, "I think it's a combination of things and when you add them all up they mean something, but to point to one item, I just don't know."
Columbia's PG-13 sci-fi fantasy blockbuster Spider-Man slid two pegs to fifth in its sixth week, still showing decent legs with an ESTIMATED $10.0 million (-30%) at 3,235 theaters (-411 theaters; $3,091 per theater). Its cume is approximately $370.1 million heading for $420 million or more in domestic theaters.
Directed by Sam Raimi, it stars Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Cliff Robertson and Rosemary Harris.
"It's its sixth weekend in double digits," Sony spokesman Steve Elzer said Sunday morning. "Actually, it's its fifth weekend in double digits. One weekend was in triple digits."
DreamWorks' G rated animated feature Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron dropped one slot to sixth place in its third week, holding well with an ESTIMATED $9.4 million (-17%) at 3,362 theaters (theater count unchanged; $2,805 per theater). Its cume is approximately $53.8 million. Spirit's decline of 17 percent was the smallest drop for any film in the Top Ten this weekend.
Directed by Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook, it was produced by Mireille Soria and Jeffrey Katzenberg.
Universal and Imagine Entertainment's PG-13 rated urban appeal comedy Undercover Brother skidded three pegs to seventh place in its second weekend to an unexciting ESTIMATED $7.31 million (-39%) at 2,169 theaters (+2 theaters; $3,370 per theater). Its cume is approximately $23.6 million.
Directed by Malcom D. Lee, it stars Eddie Griffin, Chris Kattan and Denise Richards. Its producers are Brian Grazer, Michael Jenkinson and Damon Lee.
Alcon Entertainment's R rated thriller Insomnia fell two rungs to eighth place in its third week via Warner Bros. with a less thrilling ESTIMATED $5.89 million (-41%) at 2,458 theaters (-152 theaters; $2,396 per theater). Its cume is approximately $51.8 million.
Directed by Christopher Nolan, it stars Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank.
Columbia's PG-13 rated thriller Enough slipped two slots to ninth place in its third week with a dull ESTIMATED $3.6 million (-47%) at 2,388 theaters (-235 theaters; $1,508 per theater). Its cume is approximately $33.6 million.
Directed by Michael Apted, it stars Jennifer Lopez.
Rounding out the Top Ten was Universal and Studio Canal's PG-13 rated romantic comedy drama About A Boy, from Tribeca and Working Title, down two slots in its fourth weekend with a quiet ESTIMATED $2.74 million (-33%) at 1,619 theaters (-137 theaters; $1,685 per theater). Boy, which only cost $27 million, has a cume of approximately $32.5 million.
Directed by Paul Weitz & Chris Weitz, it stars Hugh Grant, Rachel Weisz and Toni Collette.
This weekend also saw the arrival of Fine Line Features' R rated drama Cherish to an uneventful ESTIMATED $40,000 at 6 theaters ($6,667 per theater). Written and directed by Finn Taylor, it stars Robin Tunney.
There were no national sneak previews this weekend.
On the expansion front this weekend IFC Films' PG rated romantic comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding went wider in its eighth week with a solid ESTIMATED $1.6 million at 444 theaters (+208 theaters; $3,670 per theater). Its cume is approximately $10.9 million.
Directed by Joel Zwick, it stars Nia Vardalos and John Corbett.
Key films -- those grossing more than $500,000 -- took in approximately $102.73 million, up 8.86 percent from last year when they totaled $94.37 million.
Key films were down 12.87 percent from the previous weekend of this year when they grossed $117.91 million.
Last year, Warner Bros.' opening week of Swordfish was first with $18.15 million at 2,678 theaters ($6,776 per theater); and DreamWorks' fourth week of Shrek was second with $16.52 million at 3,715 theaters ($4,447 per theater). The top two films one year ago grossed $34.6 million. This year, the top two films grossed an ESTIMATED $35.1 million.
Zak Gibbs (Jesse Bradford) finds what looks like a wristwatch while scavenging through a box of his father's junk. What he doesn't know is that the watch is actually a device that makes its wearer move so quickly that the rest of the world appears to be moving in slow motion. The device was sent to his father (Robin Thomas) a science professor and dilettante inventor by a former student (French Stewart) who is being held captive by an evil corporation. Now the evildoers want their watch back and kidnap the professor while Zak unaware that his father is in grave danger runs around town with a cutie pie exchange student (Paula Garces) freezing time. Of course the two teens eventually join forces and save the day. Not only is the film's plot is so unbelievably implausible the characters are ridiculously typecast. The most insulting is Zak's black friend Meeker (Garikayi Mutambirwa) who dreams of winning a DJ competition. Eager to help him win Zak and his gal pal go into hypertime and make like puppeteers moving Meeker's arms and legs so that in real time it appears as though he's a good dancer.
Jesse Bradford (Bring It On) is the most redeemable thing in this film. His character Zak is a conventional teen who is smart but not brilliant and clever without being a hero. But unfortunately Bradford is stuck in this mess of a movie acting alongside the pretty but frothy Paula Garces. Like most girls in the movies nowadays her character Francesca de la Cruz is a vixen that cleverly puts guys in their places and can single-handedly beat up a villain. French Stewart is Dr. Earl Dopler the watch's creator. Although his brainy character is the opposite of his airheaded Harry on Third Rock From the Sun Stewart seems like he is the same persona simply reading a different script. Robin Thomas (The Contender) and Julia Sweeney (Whatever It Takes) play Zak's parents. Both are pretty standard fare: Thomas the parent married to his work at the expense of his relationship with Zak while Sweeney is a regular June Cleaver type.
Why Jonathan Frakes better known as Commander Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation or anyone for that matter would put their names on this project is unfathomable. From the hideously flashy and noisy opening credits to the predictable denouement Clockstoppers is about as entertaining as nails scraping against a chalkboard. The ridiculous story accompanied by flimsy special effects was penned by too many writers to mention. This may explain the massive plot inconsistencies--are they not supposed to count because this film is aimed at younger viewers? At one point Zak comes to the realization that for others to come in and out of hypertime they must be touching him. But there are several instances throughout the film that clearly contradict this. The watch also makes its users age rapidly but seems to spare Zak his friends and the evildoers of this fate. And is there no gravity in hypertime? Zak and Francesca were able to toss Meeker around the stage like he was weightless. And is Meeker a typical cheery Jamaican caricature with thick dreadlocks in the film for no other reason than to offend? His character disappears halfway through the film after being redeemed by his white rescuers.
Dr. Matt Fowler (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife Ruth (Sissy Spacek) are throwing a summer barbecue at which their lone prodigy Frank (Nick Stahl) is proudly showing off his summer romance. Ruth vehemently disapproves: Natalie (Marisa Tomei) is an older single mother of two who is not quite divorced from the dark abusive Richard Strout (William Mapother) whose family runs their town of Camden Maine. For Frank Natalie is someone to keep the pipes greased before he heads off to study architecture at graduate school in the fall. Maybe. Frank is thinking of getting serious with Natalie and ditching school if Natalie would have him but there's that not quite ex-husband to deal with. The not quite ex-husband ends up killing Frank (this is supposed to be a plot twist but is the only action in the first two hours of the movie) which leads to much soul searching for Matt and Ruth--the raison d'etre of the movie.
With all due respect to Spacek who's been receiving a lot of Oscar buzz for her turn it's really Tom Wilkinson (The Full Monty Wilde The Patriot) who gives the most outstanding astonishing performance in this film. Matt's stilted missteps at each and every turn are so human so real you empathize with the pain he's feeling while you cringe at his every inappropriate action. An Academy win for Wilkinson seems more than merited though likely won't happen. Marisa Tomei is as good as she's ever been in the role of Frank's lover Natalie. The emotional tug-of-war in her relationship with Nick is clear on her face and the distress of never getting Ruth's approval is deafening. Spacek has a hard time claiming even the second-best performance of the film but she is compelling as Ruth the kind-hearted high school teacher who's become more closed and unforgiving than she ever imagined. You can see Spacek shutting down as her world crumbles around her. William Mapother and Nick Stahl do fine jobs with their (relatively) limited characters especially Mapother who is sufficiently creepy and desperate as Natalie's husband.
An actor turned director Todd Field wastes the fine performances in his debut film. Field seemingly likes to impart significance in the mundane moments of real life which works only sporadically. Field's direction is similar to Matt's reaction to his son's death: all of his actions seem stiff and mannered and when he does do something appropriate it's a complete accident. Worse Field leaves no room for character development only letting the characters descend further and further into despair ultimately turning the film into an art house Death Wish. (With apologies to Charles Bronson.) Given the supposed strength of the Maine proletariat it would have nice to see Matt and Ruth Fowler struggle against their evil inclinations before giving in so completely. Under Field's helming the film flounders at inopportune moments rendering the story utterly meaningless.
February 08, 2002 2:07pm EST
Jonathan Cross (Chris Klein) is down and out in California when he runs into his old friend Marcus Ridley (LL Cool J) driving a pricey sports car and dripping in gold jewelry. As it turns out Ridley is making it big in an international Rollerball league and convinces Cross to do the same. Fast-forward four months into the future and Jonathan has become one of the biggest and most sought-after Rollerball stars. He's rich drives a nice car and is having a steamy relationship with his teammate Aurora (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos). From the looks of it Rollerball is a serious moneymaking operation: We are constantly shown million of dollars worth of currency going through money counters at record speed. And by the instant ratings numbers that appear on the organizer's monitors it's obvious that Rollerball fever has taken over the world. When conniving Rollerball creator Petrovich (Jean Reno) discovers that the ratings go through the roof when blood gets spilled things start to go very wrong. Cross and his teammates suddenly find themselves playing for their lives.
Chris Klein (American Pie 2) is Jonathan Cross the all-American Rollerball player but he underplays the role. You would expect a character in his position to have a certain amount of charisma and charm but Klein's delivery is a bit deadpan and lacking in attitude. His best pal Marcus Ridley is played by LL Cool J (Kingdom Come) who manages to add a bit of dimension to his otherwise underdeveloped character. In fact he may have been better suited for the lead. The only good part about model-turned-actress Rebecca Romijn-Stamos' (X-Men) role is that it didn't incorporate too many lines. Sounding like Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle you have to wonder what she was thinking with that accent which (contrary to the actress' recent statement on MTV that a bad accent is not necessarily bad acting) certainly is part of the acting and certainly is bad. Jean Reno (Just Visiting) was probably the most interesting character. He was all bad without a single redeeming quality which he at least pulled off with flair whether it was in his delivery or his elaborate fur coats.
Rollerball is director John McTiernan's (The Thomas Crown Affair) take on the 1975 classic directed by Norman Jewison. There is definitely enough action in Rollerball to keep viewers interested but the major problems lies within the characters' development-there isn't any. So while the action may keep your eyeballs glued to the screen momentarily you will find yourself indifferent to the characters their plight and what happens to them. Cross and Aurora's relationship for example is implied through one hastily done sex scene in the gym. Consequently when the evil Petrovich threatens to hurt her if Cross tries to leave the game we could care less because we don't really know her or how important she is to Cross. Being such an internationally renowned sport the accents which play a big part in the film are done too shoddily. The French accents go from Canadian to European within a sentence and that's only from the ones I could pick up. Who knows what other languages were massacred in the process?
Supermom Claire (Michelle Pfeiffer) and her geneticist husband Norman (Harrison Ford) are adapting to their only daughter's departure to college when Claire begins sensing an unearthly presence in the couple's lakeside Vermont dream home. Is she losing her marbles or is that the spirit of a beautiful young woman she keeps glimpsing? To say any more (as the too-explicit ad campaign does) would spoil some delicious twists.
The toplining Ford is his usual solid self in a role that plays cleverly on his familiar persona but the picture is Pfeiffer's from beginning to end. She delivers one of her most pleasing performances nicely disarming audience doubts about the story's supernatural elements with some judicious eye-rolling and embarrassed frowning -- her character is so painfully aware that what she's saying sounds crazy how can we possibly doubt her? Among the low-key supporting cast Joe Morton ("Terminator 2") stands out as an amiably down-to-earth psychiatrist.
Robert Zemeckis ("Forrest Gump") takes Clark Gregg's highly derivative haunted house script and pours on the Hitchcockian visual flourishes unapologetically pilfering from the Master's "Rear Window" and "Psycho " among others. His extended homage results in scene after scene of almost unbearable tension as the audience waits for the next shock. There's some clunky storytelling in the first section but the all-suspense second half more than makes up for it with some classic work including what seems destined to go down in movie history as "the bathtub scene."