Despite three new wide releases this weekend, kid pic Finding Nemo surprisingly found its way back to the top of the box office--and with a significant lead. The Buena Vista/Disney and Pixar Animation Studios computer-animated fish tale took in a strong $29.2 million, beating out this week's dumber, deader and faster options.
Nemo's still-weighty take was enough to beat last week's box office topper, 2 Fast 2 Furious, which settled in at No. 2 with $19.1 million. The high-octane actioner, however, stayed a lap ahead of the Jim Carrey comedy Bruce Almighty, which landed in third place with $14.2 million.
With its broad appeal and strong staying power, Nemo also snuffed-out this week's three new wide releases, Hollywood Homicide, Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd and the animated feature Rugrats Go Wild.
Paramounts Pictures' Rugrats movie, which brings together Nickelodeon's animated franchises The Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys, was hardly a match for Nemo. Oddly enough, the Nick pic garnered a PG rating for "mild crude humor," but unlike Nemo, it failed to appeal to adults and move beyond its target audience.
Ticket sales were slow this weekend compared to last year, but the box office should surge in next couple of weeks with the release of blockbusters such as The Hulk, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde.
THE TOP TEN
Buena Vista/Disney and Pixar Animation Studios' G rated computer-animated feature Finding Nemo jumped back to first place this week with an ESTIMATED $29.2 million (-37%) at 3,425 theaters (+34 theaters; $8,526 per theater). Its cume is approximately $192.3 million and headed for the $200 million mark.
Directed and co-written by Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton, it features the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe and Brad Garrett.
Universal Pictures' PG-13-rated action-packed sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious fell back to No. 2 in its second week with an ESTIMATED $19.1 million (-62%) at 3,418 theaters (+10 theaters; $5,588 per theater). Its cume is approximately $84 million.
Directed by John Singleton, it stars Paul Walker, Tyrese, Eva Mendes, Cole Hauser and Devon Aoki.
Universal Pictures' PG-13 Bruce Almighty remained in third place in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $14.2 million (-36%) at 3,477 theaters (-72 theaters; $4,084 per theater average). Its cume is approximately $193.8 million and headed for the $200 million mark.
Directed by Tom Shadyac, it stars Jim Carrey, Jennifer Aniston and Morgan Freeman.
Paramount's PG rated animated feature Rugrats Go Wild opened in the No. 4 spot with an ESTIMATED $12.5 million at 3,041 theaters with a $4,110 per theater average.
The movie revolves around Nickelodeon regulars the Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys, who team up to get off a deserted island. This third Rugrats feature failed to open as strongly as the first two installments. The original pic, The Rugrats Movie opened Nov. 20, 1998, with $27.3 million, while the second installment, Rugrats in Paris - The Movie, bowed into theaters Nov. 17, 2000, with $22.7 million.
Directed by Norton Virgien and John Eng, it features the voices of Michael Bell, Jodi Carlisle, Nancy Cartwright, Lacey Chabert, Melanie Chartoff, Cheryl Chase, Tim Curry, Elizabeth Daily and Bruce Willis.
Sony Picture's PG-13 cop comedy Hollywood Homicide failed to make a splash and premiered in fifth place with an ESTIMATED $11.7 million at 2,840 theaters with a $4,120 per theater average.
In the film, a veteran police detective and his fresh-faced partner are more interested in their side jobs than in the high-profile gangland-style murder they are currently investigating.
Directed by Ron Shelton, it stars Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett.
New Line's PG-13 comedy Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd opened in sixth place with a disappointing ESTIMATED take of $11 million at 2,609 theaters with a $4,241 per theater average.
Set in 1986, the film is a prequel to the 1994 Jim Carrey vehicle Dumb & Dumber, and reveals how mentally challenged best friends Harry and Lloyd became pals.
Directed by Troy Miller, it stars Eric Christian Olsen, Derek Richardson, Eugene Levy and Cheri Oteri.
*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.
Paramount Pictures' PG-13 rated actioner The Italian Job dropped three notches to seventh in its third week with an ESTIMATED $9.5 million (-28%) at 2,697 theaters (-180 theaters; $3,522 per theater). Its cume is approximately $$55.2 million.
Directed by F. Gary Gray, it stars Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham, Seth Green, Mos Def and Edward Norton.
Warner Bros.' R rated sci-fi sequel The Matrix Reloaded fell three places to No. 8 in its fifth week with an ESTIMATED $5.5 million (-40%) at 2,350 theaters (-875 theaters; $2,347 per theater). Its cume is approximately $257.2 million.
Directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski, it stars Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving.
Sony Pictures' PG-rated Daddy Day Care slipped three notches to No. 9 in its sixth week with an ESTIMATED $2.1 million (-54%) at 1,982 theaters (-731 theaters; $1,060 per theater). Its cume is approximately $92.2 million.
Directed by Steve Carr, it stars Eddie Murphy, Jeff Garlin, Steve Zahn, Regina King and Anjelica Huston.
Rounding out the Top 10 is 20th Century Fox's PG-13 rated X2: X-Men United. The comic book flick took in an ESTIMATED $1.6 million (-47%) at 1,311 theaters (-739 theaters; $1,1,220 per theater average). Its cume is approximately $207.1 million.
Directed by Bryan Singer, it stars Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos.
Miramax's R rated romantic comedy Jet Lag opened in two theaters with an ESTIMATED $20,000 with a $10,000 per theater average.
The film focuses on a world-renowned chef and a beautician who strike up an unusal relationship at a Paris airport.
Directed by Daniele Thompson, it stars Jean Reno and Juliette Binoche.
The Top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $118.5 million, down 24 percent from last week's take of $156.5 million.
The Top 12 were also down 23 percent from last year's $155.8 million total.
Last year, Warner Bros.' PG rated Scooby-Doo premiered at the top of the box office with $54.1 million at 3,447 theaters ($15,711 per theater), while Universal's PG-13 rated The Bourne Identity debuted at No. 2 with $27.1 million in 2,638 theaters ($10,280 per theater); MGM's R rated Windtalkers opened in third place with $14.5 million at 2,898 theaters ($5,0010 per theater).
Shooting on the romantic adventure film Beyond Borders starring Angelina Jolie will begin Thursday in northern Thailand. Co-producer Lloyd Phillips told The Associated Press on Wednesday that main filming on the movie will wrap up following about five weeks of shooting in the country. The Thai locations will stand in for Cambodia in the 1980s during the devastating rule of the Khmer Rouge. In the film, Jolie plays a married American socialite in London who falls in love with an idealistic doctor played by Clive Owen. Filming began in December, with previous shooting done in Namibia, standing in for Ethiopia, and Montreal, standing in for London and Chechnya. Beyond Borders, directed by GoldenEye's Martin Campbell, is expected to be released around Christmas.
It's absolute rubbish. That's what Madonna's spokeswoman told Reuters about media reports that the pop icon had made a series of unreasonable demands before taking to the stage for Up For Grabs debuting next month in London. Recent press reports claimed Madonna demanded a raised stage to stop fans from rushing her, theater staff were told not to have eye contact with her and cast members were told not to call her "Madge." Up For Grabs debuts in London May 23.
Noah Wyle, ER's handsome Dr. John Carter, and his wife, Tracy, are expecting their first child in November, the AP reports. Wyle, 30, met Tracy Wyle, a makeup artist, on the set of The Myth of Fingerprints in 1996. They became engaged on Valentine's Day in 1999 and have been married for about two years.
Supermodel Claudia Schiffer will marry her boyfriend, British producer Matthew Vaughn, before the end of the year, Ananova.com reports. Schiffer's mother reportedly told Germany's Bunte magazine that rumors of the couple's split were false and that her daughter will "marry within the next six months." Schiffer, the one-time companion of magician David Copperfield, and Vaughn, who produced Guy Ritchie's films Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, live together in London's Notting Hill.
Former Beverly Hills, 90210 star Jason Priestley will drive for Kelley Racing in the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series, the AP reports. The 32-year-old actor has competed in several racing series before and has worked as a TV commentator at Indy Racing League races.
Pippi, Ozzy Osbourne's little black Pomeranian, is missing. A regular fixture on the MTV series The Osbournes, Pippi has apparently been lost for two months. According to MTV.com, the family is offering a $500 reward for any information leading to the dog's retrieval.
In the Biz
Billy Bob Thornton has been cast in the title role of Terry Zwigoff's Bad Santa, Variety reports. The Dimension Films comedy, which is set for a Christmas 2003 release, follows two con men who travel to malls dressed as Santa and his elf.
Darren Star, the creator of HBO's successful comedy Sex and the City, will direct a film adapted from the book Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl: A Nancy Chan Novel by Tracy Quan for Sony's Revolution Studios. The book, based on Quan's Salon.com column, centers on the diary of a call girl working on Manhattan's Upper East Side, Variety reports.
Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnettare in talks to star in another Revolution Studios project about a pair of cops who become involved in a crime that revolves around the music business, Variety reports. The untitled police drama will be helmed by Ron Shelton, who wrote and directed White Men Can't Jump and Tin Cup, and is set to begin production this fall.
CBS chief Leslie Moonves said Tuesday the network likely would not air the Robert Urich movie Not in Our House because of its rough subject matter. According to Reuters, Urich plays a pedophile in a story about a family a year after an incestuous relationship comes to light. The film co-stars Meredith Baxter.
Francophone Celine Dion will headline this year's Billboard Latin Music Awards in Miami Beach, Fla., on May 12, the AP reports. The Canadian singer's song "My Heart Will Go On" became the first and only English-language single to top the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks chart. Dion will join previously announced performers Marc Anthony, Jaci Velasquez and Thalia.
Will Smith may have walked away from this year's Academy Awards empty-handed, but the rapper-turned-actor hasn't lost steam. According to MTV.com, Smith's next album will hit stores on June 25 and will feature two singles from Men in Black 2. Smith has not released new material since Willennium in 1999.
Rosie O'Donnell presented Gene Wilder with the first-ever Roche Beauty of Giving Award on Wednesday at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York. The award was handed out as part of the Cosmetic Executive Women's Beauty Awards. Wilder is the founder of Gilda's Club, a support network named after his wife, Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer in 1989. O'Donnell also praised the beauty industry's commitment to charities that support women with cancer.
Warren Beatty and Kevin Spacey will be honored at this year's San Francisco Film Festival. According to the BBC News, Beatty is being awarded the Akira Kurosawa Award for lifetime achievement in film directing, while Spacey is being honored with an acting award. The festival opens today and closes on May 2.
Science fiction writer Damon Knight died Monday at a hospital in Eugene, Ore., of age-related causes, the AP reports. He was 79. Knight, whose final novel Humpty Dumpty: An Oval was published in 1996, was also an influential teacher, critic and organizer, helping to found the Science Fiction Writers of America. He also served as editor for the science fiction anthology series Orbit. Knight is survived by his wife, two daughters, two sons, two stepsons and seven grandchildren.
Jimi Hendrix's father, James Al Hendrix, died in his sleep at home Wednesday after a long battle with congestive heart failure, the AP reports. He was 82. Hendrix, a former Golden Gloves boxer, worked as a plumber, electrician and gardener before retiring in 1979 due to poor health. Hendrix is survived by daughter Janie and son Leon.
ABC says that there is no problem with Seinfeld alum Jason Alexander's new vehicle Bob Patterson, despite the show's loss of a head writer, the replacement of several cast members and the addition of an entirely new character.
"There are no internal problems and there have never been any internal problems. That show could not be going any better,'' Lloyd Braun, co-chairman of ABC's Entertainment Television Group, defensively told reporters.
However, the program's pilot will probably have to be re-shot due to all the changes, including the departure of the original pilot's head writer Tim Doyle.
A tumultuous start is not what ABC needed with Bob Patterson, which stars Jason Alexander as a recently divorced motivational speaker. Patterson is slated to go up against NBC's vaunted comedy Frasier on Tuesday nights as the alphabet channel tries to knock off the peacock network.
Patterson is the second show from an ex-Seinfeld star to hit the airwaves in as many years. NBC's embattled The Michael Richards Show (starring Richards, Seinfeld's doofus Kramer), debuted last year but went largely unwatched and was yanked in December.