Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, Sept. 21: "Underworld" Is Tops

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Sep 23, 2003 | 12:05pm EDT

Vampire warrior Selene didn't just slay werewolves on the big screen; she executed Underworld's competition and helped the supernatural thriller suck $22 million* from box office patrons this weekend.

Underworld becomes Sony Pictures' eighth No. 1 opener this year. The thriller also replaces Remember the Titans as the fifth best September opening of all time, after Sweet Home Alabama, Rush Hour, Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Double Jeopardy.

The new drama Secondhand Lions came in second with a tame $12.1 million, while the gospel-inspired musical The Fighting Temptations came in third to the tune of $11.7 million.

Last week's box office champ, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, lost half its audience in its second week to place third with a so-so $11.5 million, while Cold Creek Manor rounded out the Top Five with a frosty $8.3 million.

Meanwhile, Woody Allen's latest comedy Anything Else, which opened in just over 1,000 theaters, failed to register in the Top Ten with its paltry $1.7 million. Making its mark, however, was Sofia Coppola's Lost In Translation, which raked in a notable $2.8 million at only 183 theaters, comfortably taking the No. 10 spot.

THE TOP TEN

Sony Picture's R rated supernatural thriller Underworld vanquished the competition at the box office in its debut weekend, taking the No. 1 spot with an ESTIMATED $22 million at 2,915 theaters with a per theater average of $7,547.

In the film, vampire warrior Selene finds herself at odds with the rest of her clan when she encounters a mysterious young man who may hold the secret to the war that has raged between vampires and werewolves for a thousand years.

Directed by Len Wiseman, it stars Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman.

New Line's PG rated family drama Secondhand Lions opened in second position with an ESTIMATED $12.1 million in $3,013 theaters ($4,273 per theater).

In the film, a sullen teen is forced to spend the summer with his grumpy old uncles, but life on their rundown Texas farm gets interesting after the eccentric seniors decide to make a man out of their nervous nephew.

Directed by Tim McCanlies, it stars Haley Joel Osment, Robert Duvall and Michael Caine.

Paramount Picture's PG-13 rated musical The Fighting Temptations premiered in third place with an ESTIMATED $11.7 million in 2,026 theaters ($6,516 per theater).

The film revolves around a slick-talking, city-dwelling ad exec who travels to his small hometown of Monte Carlo, Ga., to claim an inheritance.

Directed by Jonathan Lynn, it stars Cuba Gooding, Jr., Beyonce Knowles, Mike Epps and Steve Harvey.

Sony Pictures' R rated sequel Once Upon a Time in Mexico came in fourth place in its second week with an ESTIMATED $11.5 million (-51%) in 3,289 theaters (+ 7 theaters; $3,497 per theater). Its cume is approximately $41.4 million.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez, it stars Antonio Banderas, Johnny Depp, Salma Hayek and Willem Dafoe.

Buena Vista's R rated thriller Cold Creek Manor premiered in fifth place with an ESTIMATED $8.3 million at 2,035 theaters ($4,081 per theater).

In the film, a family moves into their country dream house to get away from the city but neglects to find out the sordid history of the house's former owner.

Directed by Mike Figgis, it stars Dennis Quaid, Sharon Stone, Stephen Dorff and Juliette Lewis.

*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.

Warner Bros.' PG-13 rated drama Matchstick Men dropped four places in its second week to take the No. 6 position with an ESTIMATED $7.8 million (-40%) in 2,711 theaters (unchanged; $2,877 per theater). Its cume is approximately $24.4 million.

Directed by Ridley Scott, it stars Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell and Alison Lohman.

Lions Gate's R rated gore fest Cabin Fever slid four notches in its second week to place seventh with an ESTIMATED $3.9 million (-55%) in 2,105 theaters (+18 theaters; $1,853 per theater). Its cume is approximately $14.7 million.

Directed by Eli Roth, it stars Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, Joey Kern, Cerina Vincent and James Debello.

Paramount Picture's PG-13 rated comedy Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star also slipped four positions in its third week to place eighth with an ESTIMATED $3.8 million (-24%) in 2,083 theaters (unchanged; $1,831 per theater). Its cume is approximately $17.3 million.

Directed by Sam Weisman, it stars David Spade, Jon Lovitz, Alyssa Milano, Doris Roberts, Craig Bierko and Mary McCormack.

Buena Vista Pictures' PG-13 rated hit Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl fell four spots to ninth in its 11th week with an ESTIMATED $3.4 million (-23%) at 1,746 theaters (-283 theaters; $1,998 per theater). Its cume is approximately $292.5 million.

Directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, it stars Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley.

Focus Features' R rated dramatic comedy Lost In Translation rounded out the Top Ten in its second week with an ESTIMATED $2.8 million (+203%) in 183 theaters (+160 theaters; $15,337 per theater average). It cume is approximately $4.1 million.

Gaining remarkable word of mouth from favorable reviews, the film follows the unlikely friendship between a bored young wife and an aging movie star, both staying in a hotel in Tokyo.

Directed Sofia Coppola, it stars Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson.

OTHER OPENINGS

DreamWorks' R-rated comedy Anything Else premiered with a soft ESTIMATED $1.7 million at 1,033 theaters, with a $1,646 per theater average.

The film revolves around an aspiring writer in New York who falls in love at first sight with a free-spirited younger woman.

Directed by Woody Allen, it stars Christina Ricci, Jason Biggs, Allen, Danny DeVito, Jimmy Fallon and Stockard Channing.

WEEKEND COMPARISON

The Top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $93.7 million, up a noteworthy 29.19 percent from last weekend, when they grossed $72.7 million. The Top 12 movies were also up 36.99 percent from this time last year when they took in $68.5 million.

Last year's top three included: MGM's riotous PG-13 rated Barbershop came in at No. 1 in its second week with $12.8 million in 1,894 theaters (+ 289 theaters; $6,767 per theater); Fox Searchlight's comedy The Banger Sisters premiered in second place with $10 million in 2,738 theaters ($3,666 per theater average); and the indie sleeper My Big Fat Greek Wedding, came in third in its 23rd week of release with $9.7 million at 1,853 theaters (+89 theaters; $5,261 per theater).

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