Warner Bros.' highly anticipated sci-fi sequel The Matrix Reloaded crushed the competition at the box office with a mind-bending five-day take of $135.7 million*, making it the second best weekend opening of all time. The megahyped actioner also set a new record for the biggest consecutive four-day domestic box office gross in cinema history with $134.3 million, became the highest grossing R-rated film ever and broke the one-day box office record on its formal opening day, with $42.5 million. Reloaded premiered on about 2,750 screens across the country Wednesday night--two hours before its nationwide release Thursday in some 3,603 theaters with a record 8,517 prints. But its early release could also be why it failed to beat Sony Picture's Spider-Man's still-standing record as the best weekend opener of all time.Reloaded went on to gross $93.2 million Friday through Sunday, which was not enough to defeat Spider-Man's record three-day haul of $114.8 million. The previous No. 2 spot was held by Warner's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone with $90.3 million.Still, Reloaded managed to sell out most evening showtimes despite its restrictive rating, which many industry insiders believed would lessen its chance to reach a broad audience. With the highest playdate count of any R-rated film, Reloaded blew away the previous record for the best opening for an R rated pic, held by Universal's horror sequel Hannibal, which raked in $58 million in its opening weekend in February 2001."This just shows that ratings matter to a point, but if people want to see the movie, they're going to see the movie," Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office tracker Exhibitor Relations Co. told The Associated Press Sunday. "It was review proof and it was ratings proof." "You had a whole legion of fans under 17 whose parents were obviously willing to take them to see this movie," he added. "You can almost call this an R-rated family film."Other R-rated blockbusters opening this summer, including Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Bad Boys II and American Wedding--the third installment in the American Pie trilogy--will no doubt see Reloaded's weighty box office take as a positive sign. THE TOP TENWarner Bros.' R rated sci-fi sequel The Matrix Reloaded easily debuted at the top of the box office with an ESTIMATED three-day take $93.2 million at 3,603 theaters. The film's $25,884 per theater average was the highest of any film playing this weekend. Its cume is approximately $135.7 million.In the trilogy's second installment, Neo, Trinity and Morpheus continue their battle against the Machines both in and out of the Matrix as mankind has just 72 hours before the destruction of the human city of Zion. 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 remained in the No. 2 spot in its second week with an ESTIMATED $19.2 million (-30%) at 3,408 theaters (+38 theaters, $5,634 per theater). Its cume is approximately $51.3 million.Directed by Steve Carr, it stars Eddie Murphy, Jeff Garlin, Steve Zahn, Regina King and Anjelica Huston. Lats week's box office topper, 20th Century Fox's comic book sequel X2: X-Men United skipped second place and went straight to No. 3 in its third week of release with an ESTIMATED $17.1 million (-57%) at 3,489 theaters (-260 theaters, $4,910 per theater average). Its cume is approximately $174 million, heading towards the $200 million mark.Directed by Bryan Singer, it stars Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos.In fourth place is 20th Century Fox's PG-13 romantic comedy Down With Love, which debuted in one New York theater last week and expanded into 2,123 theaters this week with an ESTIMATED $ 7.5 million, with a $3,573 per theater average. Its cume is approximately $7.6 million.The film, an homage to Doris Day/Rock Hudson movies, follows a feminist writer who knocks heads with a playboy journalist. Directed by Peyton Reed, it stars Renee Zellweger, Ewan McGregor and David Hyde Pierce.Buena Vista's PG rated The Lizzie McGuire Movie fell two notches to fifth place in its third week with an ESTIMATED $4.5 million (-38%) at 2,825 theaters (-167 theaters, $1,693 per theater). Its cume is approximately $32.1 million.Directed by Jim Fall, it stars Hilary Duff, Adam Lamberg and Yani Gellman.*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.Sony Pictures' PG-13 rated comedy Anger Management fell one rung to No. 6 in its sixth week with an ESTIMATED $3.6 million (-37%) at 2,476 theaters (-343 theaters, $1,454 per theater). Its cume is approximately $128.3million.Directed by Peter Segal, it stars Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, Marisa Tomei and John Turturro.Sony Pictures' R-rated psychological thriller Identity dropped three places in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $3.4 million (-48%) at 2,196 theaters (-422, $1,548 per theater). Its cume is approximately $44.8 million.Directed by James Mangold, it stars John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, Rebecca DeMornay and Alfred Molina. Buena Vista's PG rated teen comedy Holes fell from sixth to eighth place in its fifth week with an ESTIMATED $3 million (-38%) at 2,232 theaters (-220 theaters, $1,344 per theater). Its cume is approximately $45 million.Directed by Andrew Davis, it stars Rick Fox, Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Tim Blake Nelson and Shia LeBeouf. Warner Bros. PG-13 A Mighty Wind, dropped from seventh to No. 9 in its fifth week with an ESTIMATED $1.7 million (-42%) at 770 theaters (+5 theaters; $2,253 per theater). Its cume is approximately $12.1 million. Directed by and starring Christopher Guest, it also stars Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Bob Balaban, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara and more. Rounding out the Top Ten is Fox Searchlight's PG-13 rated Bend It Like Beckham. The soccer comedy fell one notch in its tenth week of release stateside with an ESTIMATED $1.5 million (-13%) at 553 theaters (-2 theaters, $2,731 per theater). Its cume is approximately 15.1 million.Directed Gurinder Chadha, it stars Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.OTHERSMiramax Film's G rated animated sequel Pokémon Heroes opened with an ESTIMATED $225,000 at 196 theaters ($1,148 per theater).This is the fifth in the series of Japanese anime films including: Pokemon The First Movie (1999), Pokemon The Movie 2000 (2000), Pokemon 3 The Movie: Spell of the Unknown (2001) and Pokemon 4Ever (2002). Lion Gate's R rated prison drama Sweet Sixteen, meanwhile, debuted in three theaters with an ESTIMATED $30,000, with an impressive $10,000 per theater average.The film revolves around a young teen struggling to realize his dream in the gritty streets of Glasgow while waiting for his mother's release from prison.Directed by Ken Loach, it stars Martin Compston, William Ruane, Annmarie Fulton and Michelle Abercromby.WEEKEND COMPARISONThe Top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $156 million, up a whopping 52.3 percent from last week when they totaled $102.4 million.The Top 12 were down about 4 percent from last year when they totaled $162.6 million.Last year, Fox's PG rated Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones premiered at the top of the box office with $80 million at 3,161 theaters ($25,317 per theater); Sony's PG-13 rated Spider-Man came in second in its third week with with $45 million at 3,615 theaters ($12,458 per theater); and Fox's R rated Unfaithful came in third in its second week with $10 million at 2,624 theaters ($3,816 per theater).
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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).