Mutants proved victorious as the highly anticipated sci-fi sequel X2: X-Men United took in a mind-bending $85.8 million* at the box office this weekend.
X2's meaty box office take makes it the fourth biggest opener of all time, behind commanding champs Spider-Man, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
The comic book turned mega-movie franchise debuted Friday in 93 countries and territories around the world simultaneously, making it the broadest opening ever for a movie, a record that previously belonged to Star Wars: Episode II--Attack of the Clones.
This weekend's solid box office take, however, was still down more than seven percent from this time last year, which benefited from the opening of another Marvel comic book adaptation, Spider-Man.
THE TOP TEN
Twentieth Century Fox's comic book sequel X2: X-Men United opened with an ESTIMATED $85.8 million at 3,741 theaters, making its $22,948 per theater average the highest of any film playing this weekend.
X2 beat the first film in the series, X-Men, which took in $54.5 million when it opened in July 2000 and went on to earn $157.3 million domestically and more than $290 million worldwide.
The PG-13 rated sequel takes up where the original film left off, with Prof. Xavier still teaching gifted young mutants and the metal-controlling villain Magneto locked up in a plastic prison as the mutants continue their struggle against a society that fears and distrusts them.
Directed by Bryan Singer, it stars Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen and more.
Buena Vista's PG rated The Lizzie McGuire Movie opened in second place with a strong $17 million at 2,825 theaters and was the only pic that went unfazed by the X2 juggernaut. Its per theater average was a strong $6,018.
The film is based on The Disney Channel's Lizzie McGuire, a TV comedy series about a 13-year-old girl in junior high. Here, Lizzie celebrates her graduation from junior high by going on a class trip to Rome.
Directed by Jim Fall, it stars Hilary Duff, Adam Lamberg and Yani Gellman.
Sony Pictures' R-rated psychological thriller Identity, which debuted at the top of the box office last week, came in third with an ESTIMATED $9.5 million (-41%) at 2,733 theaters (unchanged, $3,476 per theater). Its cume is approximately $30.2 million.
Directed by James Mangold, it stars John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, Rebecca DeMornay and Alfred Molina.
Continuing its mainstay in the Top Five, Sony Pictures' PG-13 rated comedy Anger Management fell two notches to No. 4 in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $8.5 million (-43%) at 3,471 theaters (-185 theaters, $2,449 per theater). Its cume is approximately $115.4 million.
Directed by Peter Segal, it stars Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, Marisa Tomei and John Turturro.
Buena Vista's PG rated teen comedy Holes fell from third to fifth place in its third week with an ESTIMATED $6.5 million (-48%) at 2,402 theaters (+53 theaters, $2,706 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.
*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.
Warner Bros.' PG-13 rated comedy Malibu's Most Wanted dropped from fourth to sixth place in its third week with an ESTIMATED $4 million (-45%) at 2,503 theaters (-163 theaters, $2,340 per theater). Its cume is approximately $28.9 million.
Directed by John P Whitesell, it stars Jamie Kennedy, Taye Diggs and Anthony Anderson.
Lions Gate's R-rated Confidence fell two rungs to seventh place with an ESTIMATED $2.5 million (-45%) at 1,871 theaters (unchanged, $1,336 per theater). Its cume is approximately $8.5 million.
Directed by James Foley, it stars Edward J. Burns, Dustin Hoffman, Andy Garcia and Rachel Weisz.
MGM's PG-13 multi-generational comedy It Runs in the Family dropped from eighth to ninth in its second week with an ESTIMATED $1.5 million (-45%) at 1,207 theaters (unchanged, $1,284 per theater). Its cume is approximately $5.1 million.
Directed by Fred Schepisi, it stars Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas, Cameron Douglas, Rory Culkin and Bernadette Peters.
Benefiting from positive word of mouth, Fox Searchlight's PG-13 rated Bend It Like Beckham was the only film this week to move up in the order. The soccer comedy cracked the Top 10 in its eighth week of release stateside with an ESTIMATED $1.4 million (-5%) at 484 theaters (+63) with a per theater average of $3,006. Its cume is approximately $10.9 million.
The film follows the aspirations of a young Indian girl living in London whose only desire is to play soccer--even if it means going against her traditional family's wishes.
Directed by Gurinder Chadha, it stars Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
Rounding out the Top Ten is MGM's PG-13 rated martial art pic Bulletproof Monk, which dropped four spots from last week with an ESTIMATED $1.4 million (-67%) at 1,894 theaters (-1,061, $766 per theater). Its cume is approximately $21.5 million.
Directed by Paul Hunter, it stars Chow Yun-Fat and Seann William Scott.
Four new films opened in limited release this weekend, including Fox Searchlight's R rated drama The Dancer Upstairs, which earned an ESTIMATED $105,300 at 13 theaters with a solid $8,100 per theater average. The film expands to 55 venues Friday.
Sony Classics's R rated crime comedy Owning Mahowny premiered with an ESTIMATED $35,123, at nine theaters ($3,903 per theater).
Miramax debuted the R rated drama Blue Car at six theaters and took in an ESTIMATED $31,000 with a strong $5,167 per theater average.
Meanwhile, Thinkfilm's G rated documentary Spellbound opened Wednesday in a Film Forum exclusive in Gotham and earned an ESTIMATED $17,569 this weekend. Its cume is approximately $23,107.
The Top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $140.7 million, up a whopping 87.96 percent from last week when they totaled $74.8 million.
The Top 12 were down 7.6 percent from last year when they totaled $152.3 million.
Last year, Sony's PG-13 rated Spider-Man premiered at the top of the box office with $114.8 million at 3,615 theaters ($31,769 per theater); Universal's PG-13 rated The Scorpion King came in second with $9 million at 3,466 theaters ($2,610 per theater); and Paramount's R rated Changing Lanes came in third with $5.3 million at 2,642 theaters ($2,021 per theater).