In the final week of calm before the storm of blockbuster holiday releases strikes beginning next weekend, K-PAX, starring Kevin Spacey as a man claiming to be an alien, debuted at the box office with an estimated $17.5 million. The Halloween horror film Thirteen Ghosts, reviled by critics on Friday, was a close second with $15.7 million, according to studio estimates. From Hell, the Jack the Ripper tale that took first place last weekend, dropped precipitously to third place with just $6.1 million. Two other new films produced disappointing results. Bones, yet another horror movie, debuted in ninth place with about $2.95 million, while On the Line, starring two members of the pop group "N Sync, failed even to make the top ten, opening in 11th place with about $2.3 million. In limited release, Life as a House starring Kevin Kline, had a strong opening in 29 theaters, where it took in $294,000 -- better than $10,000 per location. Ticket sales for the top 12 films tallied $73.4 million, rising 3.4 percent over the same weekend a year ago
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations: 1. K-PAX, $17.5 million; 2. Thirteen Ghosts, $15.7 million; 3. From Hell, $6.1 million; 4. Riding in Cars With Boys, $6 million; 5. Training Day, $5.11 million; 6. Bandits, $5.05 million; 7. Serendipity, $3.9 million; 8. The Last Castle, $3.7 million; 9. Bones, $2.95 million; 10. Corky Romano, $2.9 million.