Box Office Analysis: March 2

In a battle of the actioners, the high-octane Cradle 2 the Grave, the only major release of the weekend, crushed reigning king Daredevil with a one-two punch of $17.1 million*, knocking the comic-book blockbuster off its throne.

The top box office winner for the last two weeks, Daredevil got pushed down to third place with only an $11 million take over the weekend, while the raucous comedy Old School, offering its own brand of flying testosterone, held its No. 2 spot for the second week with $13.9 million.

The romantic comedy How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days came in fourth with $10.1 million and Osca -nominee Chicago added a few more theaters to its belt, rounding out the top five with a respectable $8.1 million.


Warner Bros. R-rated martial arts actioner Cradle 2 the Grave barreled into the weekend competition with an ESTIMATED $17.1 million in 2,625 theaters ($6,520 per theater).

The film follows a Taiwanese government agent and a master thief as they team up to hunt down some rare black diamonds before they land into the wrong hands.

Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak, it stars DMX, Jet Li, Gabrielle Union, Anthony Anderson and Tom Arnold.

No strangers to impressive March openings, DMX and Li first starred together for director Bartkowiak in Romeo Must Die, which opened March 16, 2001, with a healthy $18.4 million, while Bartkowiak‘s Exit Wounds, also starring DMX and Steven Seagal, opened March 22, 2000, with $18 million.

DreamWorks’ R-rated comedy Old School stayed at No. 2 for the second week with an ESTIMATED $13.9 million (-20%) in 2,742 theaters (+53 theaters; $5,069 per theater). The film, which revolves around three thirtysomething college buddies who decide to start their own off-campus fraternity, has made approximately $37.2 million so far.

Directed by Todd Phillips, it stars Luke Wilson, Will Farrell and Vince Vaughn.

Losing the dare, 20th Century Fox’s PG-13 Daredevil, slipped to third place with an ESTIMATED $11 million (-39%) in 3,234 theaters (-240 theaters; $3,401 per theater). But don’t feel too sorry for this superhero; his film is well on the way to hitting the $100 million mark, its cume approximately $84.1 million.

Directed by Mark Steven Johnson, the live-action comic book adaptation of a blind lawyer who moonlights as a superhero, stars Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell and Michael Clarke Duncan.

Keeping things sweet, Paramount Pictures’ PG-13 How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days dropped a spot to No. 4 with an ESTIMATED $10.1 million (-13%) in 2,923 theaters ($3,467 per theater). Now in its fourth week, the romantic comedy about a journalist who has to do all the wrong things to lose a guy for a story has accumulated approximately $77.5 million.

Directed by Donald Petrie, it stars Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey.

Miramax’s PG-13 jazzy musical Chicago held on to fifth place with an ESTIMATED $8.1 million (-1%) in 2,447 theaters (+92 theaters; $3,322 per theater). Expanding once again in its tenth week, the Oscar-nominated film has made approximately $105.1 million, making it the 24th film released in 2002 to hit the $100 million mark–and with director Rob Marshall’s recent Directors Guild of America win, it’s only going to get better.

Directed by Rob Marshall, it stars Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere.

Falling two notches to sixth was Buena Vista’s G-rated The Jungle Book 2, offering parents the only true kiddie entertainment for the weekend. It took in an ESTIMATED $6.8 million (-22%) in 2,814 theaters (-1 theaters; $2,416 per theater). Its cume is approximately $33.6 million.

Directed by Steven Trenbirth, the continuing adventures of Mowgli the jungle boy features the voices of Haley Joel Osment, John Goodman, Bob Joles and Tony Jay.

*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.

Buena Vista’s own PG-13 martial arts flick Shanghai Knights stayed in seventh place with an ESTIMATED $4.8 million (-26%) in 2,515 theaters (-11 theaters; $1,909 per theater). In its fourth week, its cume is approximately $50.7 million.

Directed by Tom Dey, it stars Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson.

Universal’s R-rated death penalty drama The Life of David Gale fell from sixth to eighth place with an ESTIMATED $4.3 million (-38%) in 2,003 theaters (+1 theater; $2,195 per theater). Debuting last weekend, the film about an anti-death penalty philosophy professor who finds himself on death row when his associate in the advocacy group Death Watch is murdered has made $13.4 million so far.

Directed by Alan Parker, the film stars Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslet.

Warner Bros.’ PG-13 Civil-War melodrama Gods and Generals, which debuted last weekend at No. 8, slipped one spot to No. 9 with an ESTIMATED $2.7 million (-40%) in 1,533 theaters ($1,817 per theater). Its cume is approximately $8.7 million.

Directed by Ron Maxwell, the film is an epic portrayal charting the early years of the Civil War in early 1861 through 1863, climaxing with the famous Battle of Chancellorsville, and stars Jeff Daniels, Stephen Lang and Robert Duvall.

Rounding out the top ten list was Buena Vista’s PG-13 rated The Recruit with an ESTIMATED $2.6 million (-24%) in 1,508 theaters (-170 theaters; $1,724 per theater). The CIA thriller’s cume is approximately $48 million.

Directed by Roger Donaldson, it stars Al Pacino and Colin Farrell.


Gold Circle/IDP’s R-rated cue-ball drama Poolhall Junkies hustled up some business, opening in a limited-release with an ESTIMATED $315,318 in 179 theaters ($1,762 per theater). The film follows a pool playin’ whiz who tries hard to rise above his loser, hustling past–while still loving the game.

Written and directed by Mars Callahan, it stars Callahan, Christopher Walken, Chazz Palminteri and Alison Eastwood.


This weekend’s top 12 films grossed $85.8 million, up 4.58% from last weekend’s take of $82 million.

Last year’s big winner was Paramount’s We Were Soldiers with $20.2 million in 3,143 theaters ($6,431 per theater), followed by Miramax’s 40 Days and 40 Nights at $12.2 million in 2,225 theaters ($5,496 per theater) and New Line Cinema’s John Q at $8.5 million in 2,456 theaters ($3,466 per theater).