The Chris Rock comedy Head of State, last week's No. 1 film, fell to fourth place with $8.8 million, while the Queen Latifah/Steve Martin laffer Bringing Down the House rounded out the Top Five with $8.5 million.
Box office numbers, however, were still down considerably from this time last year. It was the fourth straight weekend that revenues have shown a decline. And while studio executives blame the war in Iraq for the dwindling box office figures, analysts say movie choices this year have generally been weaker than the first part of 2002, when Ice Age, Blade II, John Q and The Panic Room opened to bigger numbers.
"The fact that it's down four weekends in a row, everybody says, hey, this has to do with the war and people's moods," Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations, told The Associated Press. "But no matter what the mood of the country, if there are good movies out there, people will want to go see them."
THE TOP TEN
Twentieth Century Fox's new R-rated sniper thriller Phone Booth shot to the top of the chart this weekend with an ESTIMATED $15 million at 2,481 theaters. Its $6,056 per theater average was the highest of any wide release playing this week.
The film revolves around a New York City media consultant who answers a ringing phone in a phone booth and finds himself trapped after being told by a caller--a serial killer with a sniper rifle--that he'll be shot dead if he hangs up.
Warner Brother's PG rated 'tween pic What a Girl Wants debuted in second place with an ESTIMATED $12 million at 2,964 theaters ($4,069 per theater).
The film follows a young American girl who heads to London in hopes of meeting the father she's never known, a high-profile politician.
New Line Cinema's new R-rated cop drama A Man Apart opened third with an ESTIMATED $11.5 million at 2,459 theaters ($4,534 per theater).
In the film, a U.S. narcotics cop takes on a Tijuana drug cartel to get retribution for the murder of his wife.
DreamWorks' PG-13 political comedy Head of State fell from No. 1 to No. 4 in its second week of release with an ESTIMATED $8.8 million (-35%) at 2,155 theaters (+4 theaters, $4,084 per theater). Its cume is approximately $25.3 million.
Buena Vista's PG-13 rated jailbreak comedy Bringing Down the House dropped from second to fifth place in its fifth week of release with an ESTIMATED $8.5 million (-32%) at 2,910 theaters (unchanged, $2,921 per theater). Its cume is approximately $111.3 million.
*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.
Paramount Pictures' PG-13 sci-fi thriller The Core, fell three notches to sixth place in its second week of release with an ESTIMATED $6.3 million (-48%) at 3,019 (+2 theaters, $2087 per theater). Its cume is approximately $20.9 million.
Sony Pictures' R-rated Basic dropped three pegs to seventh with an ESTIMATED $5.4 million (-53%) at 2,876 theaters (+ 2 theaters, $1,878 per theater). Its cume is approximately $20 million.
In its 15th week of release, Miramax's PG-13 rated musical Chicago continued as a mainstay in the Top Ten, dropping from fifth to eighth place with an ESTIMATED $5.3 million (-26%) at 2,395 theaters (-306 theaters, $2,219 per theater). Its cume is approximately $152.1 million.
MGM's PG-rated Agent Cody Banks fell from seventh to ninth place in its fourth week of release with an ESTIMATED $3.7 million (-42%) at 2,331 theaters (-455 theaters, $1,587 per theater average). Its cume is approximately $40 million.
Rounding out the Top Ten is Buena Vista's G-rated animated feature Piglet's Big Movie, which dropped two positions in its third week of release with an ESTIMATED $3 million (-39%) at 2,084 theaters (-63 theaters, $1,484 per theater average). Its cume is approximately $17 million.
Miramax's R-rated Dysfunktional Family opened with an ESTIMATED $1.1 million at 609 theaters with $1,827 per theater average.
The film is a stand-up-comedy concert film featuring Eddie Griffin that includes scenes from the comedian's personal life.
Fox Searchlight's R-rated crime comedy The Good Thief, meanwhile, opened with an ESTIMATED $1,00,000 in six theaters, with a whopping $15,292 per theater average.
The film revolves around an aging gambler who assembles a team for a casino heist of a lifetime.
The Top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $84 million, down 3.14 percent from last week when they totaled $86.7 million.
The Top 12 were also down 10.17 percent from last year when they totaled $93.5 million.
Last year, Sony's R-rated The Panic Room won the box office two weeks in a row with $18.2 million at 3,053 theaters ($5,969 per theater); Fox's R-rated High Crimes debuted in second with $14 million at 2,717 theaters ($5,155 per theater); and Fox's PG rated animated feature Ice Age came in third in its fourth week of release with $13.5 million at 3,200 theaters ($4,329 per theater).