General News

"Blonde" bombshell hits box office

Jul 17, 2001 | 10:20am EDT

Entertainment analysts were blonde-sided at the box office over the weekend as a little $18 million comedy captured first place while the predicted winner, which cost an estimated $115 million to $135 million to make, came in fourth. Reese Witherspoon's Legally Blonde earned $20.4 million, beating out such heavyweights as The Score, starring Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando and Edward Norton, and the analysts' favorite, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. The Score opened in second place with $19 million, while Final Fantasy, which had a strong mid-week debut on Wednesday, earned only $11.4 million. Analysts were at a loss to explain the poor showing of Fantasy. "It just didn't capture the audience for whatever reason," Exhibitor Relations chief Paul Dergarabedian told Bloomberg News. "On paper it looked so good. I think it was the fact that there were no [live] stars." In third place was last week's winner, Cats & Dogs, which earned $12 million.

The top 10 films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Exhibitor Relations (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date):

1. Legally Blonde, MGM, $20,377,426, (New); 2. The Score, Paramount, $19,018,807, (New); 3. Cats & Dogs, Warner Bros., $12,033,590, ($58,945,593); 4. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Sony, $11,408,853, ($19,028,896) (Opened Wednesday); 5. Scary Movie 2, Miramax/Dimension, $9,554,442, ($52,975,784); 6. The Fast and the Furious, Universal, $8,088,195, ($115,615,345); 7. Doctor Dolittle 2, 20th Century Fox, $7,483,973, ($84,734,774); 8. Kiss of the Dragon, 20th Century Fox, $6,010,165, ($24,122,981); 9. A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Warner Bros., $5,214,891, ($70,097,455); 10. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Paramount, $3,883,274, ($122,512,612).

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