Despite predictions that the country was in no mood for movies and was likely to remain glued to television sets for word on rescue efforts in New York and the government's response to the terrorist attack, the box office looked utterly unscathed over the weekend. In fact, it was up 43 percent from the same weekend a year ago, when the total take was the lowest since Sept. 12, 1997. Still, the numbers were nothing to cheer about, with the top 12 films taking in only $54 million. "This is a typical mid-September box office," Exhibitor Relations chief Paul Dergarabedian told the Wall Street Journal. "It's not like people flocked to the movies, but they didn't stay away."
The top film was the Keanu Reeves starrer Hardball from Paramount, which grossed about $10.1 million in its opening. (Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone told today's New York Times that Paramount had considered postponing the opening of the film but decided to go ahead because it represented positive American values.) Another new film, Sony/Columbia's The Glass House, took the second spot with $6.1 million. Both films had received generally negative reviews on Friday.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:
1. Hardball, $10.1 million;
2. The Glass House, $6.1 million;
3. The Musketeer, $5.3 million;
4. The Others, $4.8 million;
5. Two Can Play That Game, $4.7 million;
6. Rush Hour 2, $4.3 million;
7. Jeepers Creepers, $3.8 million;
8. Rat Race, $3.62 million;
9. American Pie 2, $3.60 million;
10. Rock Star, $3.5 million.