Archive for Monday, May 20, 2002

Clones’ has strong opening, hits $100 million in four days

May 20, 2002

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— The latest "Star Wars" movie took in $116.3 million in its first four days and became the second-fastest film behind only "Spider-Man" to top $100 million.

After grossing $30.1 million on opening day Thursday, "Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones" collected $86.15 million Friday to Sunday, the third-highest debut ever for a three-day weekend, behind "Spider-Man" and "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."

"Attack of the Clones" did not approach box-office records set two weeks ago by "Spider-Man," which debuted with $114.8 million in three days. But "Episode II" had a faster start than its 1999 predecessor, "Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace," which opened on a Wednesday and took five days to reach $105 million.

Playing in 3,161 theaters, "Attack of the Clones" averaged a whopping $27,254. The film opened in about 450 fewer theaters than "Spider-Man" because "Star Wars" creator George Lucas was choosy about locations, insisting on top-of-the-line cinemas with digital sound.

Only one major movie opened against "Attack of the Clones," the Hugh Grant romance "About a Boy," which came in at No. 4 with $8.4 million in 1,207 theaters.

"Spider-Man" slipped to No. 2 in its third weekend but held up well with $46 million, bringing its total to $286.5 million in 17 days. The film already ranks 14th on the all-time domestic box-office chart, just behind "The Empire Strikes Back."

Powered by "Star Wars" and "Spider-Man," the top 12 films grossed $170 million, up 77 percent from the same weekend a year ago.

With those two movies likely to remain strong and a solid crop of newcomers arriving Friday, Hollywood is likely to beat the Memorial Day box-office record of $185.3 million set last year, said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Big films opening next weekend are "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron" and thrillers starring Al Pacino and Robin Williams ("Insomnia") and Jennifer Lopez ("Enough").

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc., are as follows:

1. "Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones," $86.15 million.

2. "Spider-Man," $46 million.

3. "Unfaithful," $10.3 million.

4. "About a Boy," $8.4 million.

5. "The New Guy," $6.5 million.

6. "Changing Lanes," $3.1 million.

7. "The Scorpion King," $2.7 million.

8. "The Rookie," $2 million.

9. "Murder by Numbers," $1.7 million.

10. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," $1.2 million.

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