‘Scary Movie 3’ Frightens the Competition

Marc Bess
Niner Online

“Scary Movie 3” annihilated all other competitors this weekend at the box-office. The Jerry Zucker-directed spoof grossed an enormous $49.7 million, topping the charts and becoming the top October opening of all-time. The previous record holder was last year’s Hannibal Lecter film “Red Dragon,” which earned a comparatively small $36.5 million.

In second place was last weekend’s top film, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” The horror remake dropped 47.5 %, a relatively small drop for a horror film, to earn an estimated $14.7 million. The New Line-distributed movie has grossed a little over $51 million in two weeks. Considering that Halloween falls on a Friday this year, “Massacre” may be able to scare up enough moviegoers for a slight drop next weekend.

In third place was another freshman, Sony/Revolution’s “Radio.” The true-life drama, starring Academy Award-winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Ed Harris, earned a respectable estimated $14 million on just over 3,000 theatres. The film got lukewarm reviews, but is supposedly getting good word-of-mouth meaning that a long, successful run could be in store for the inspirational film.

Rounding out the top five were two holdovers, “Runaway Jury” and “Mystic River,” respectively. “Jury,” the Gary Fleder-helmed John Grisham adaptation, earned $8.4 million, bringing its two-week total to just over $24 million. The Clint Eastwood-directed “River” earned $7.6 million on a relatively small count of almost 1,500 theatres. The dark drama has earned $24.5 million after two weekends of wide release.

The bottom half of the top ten solely consisted of holdovers. In sixth place, the Jack Black comedy “School of Rock” grossed $6.5 million for $63.3 million after 4 weekends.

Last weekend’s “bridesmaid” “Kill Bill, Volume One” fell to number seven, hurt by the “Scary Movie 3” onslaught. Quentin Tarantino’s kung-fu homage earned just under $6 million for $53 million to date. The Uma Thurman-starrer has almost made back the $55 million production cost of both it and its follow-up.

The final three spots went to MGM’s “Good Boy,” Universal’s “Intolerable Cruelty,” and Buena Vista’s Diane Lane film “Under the Tuscan Sun.” The dog comedy “Good Boy!” earned $4.8 million for almost $32 million since its October 10 opening. “Intolerable Cruelty” fell to $3.5 million for an anemic $28 million to date. “Under the Tuscan Sun,” in its fifth week in the top ten, grossed $2.2 million for a hit cume of $37 million.

Opening outside of the top ten in eleventh place was the Martin Campbell-directed “Beyond Borders.” The third world-set drama was dead on arrival and grossed a pathetic $2 million. Considering the starpower of Angelina Jolie and the $35 million cost, Paramount must have had much higher expectations.

Playing on only two theaters in New York and Los Angeles, Disney’s animated “Brother Bear” grossed $285,000 for an astounding $142,500 average.

In limited release, the dark Meg Ryan drama “In the Cut” earned $95,500 on 6 screens. It opens wide on October 31. Gus Van Sant’s Cannes sensation “Elephant” earned $90,000, also on 6 screens. Paramount Classics’ “The Singing Detective” earned a disappointing $27,000 in 5 theaters.

Next weekend, the box-office experiences a relatively quiet period before “The Matrix Revolutions” opens on November 5. In an unorthodox move, “Brother Bear” will open wide on Saturday, November 1. On only 324 theaters on Wednesday, October 29 is the re-release of Ridley Scott’s “Alien.” Opening on Friday in over 800 locations is “In the Cut” and “The Human Stain” in 125 theaters.

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