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July 9th, 2002

"Black" Magic


No surprise for the top spot this weekend. Five years after the original, Men In Black 2 claimed the weekend with a 52.1 million gross, and 87.2 million since last Wednesday. Overall, it's impressive stuff and yes, it broke records. I was personally disappointed by this mess of a movie (don't worry, I'll save my bitching for the DVD review), but hey, movies like this are review-proof. But think about this: less people actually saw the sequel than the original. Higher ticket prices and how it all factors... interesting, right? That's kind of rare, seeing how sequels almost always bring in more money the first weekend and overall than the predecessor.

In second was last week's champ and another Columbia flick, Mr. Deeds with 18.4 million for the three day portion of the long weekend. The movie should edge toward 100 million, and with this, "Men In Black 2," "Spider-Man" and the upcoming "XXX" and "Stuart Little 2," Columbia is going to have a truly amazing year for movies.

And whoa whoa whoa again! For the THIRD TIME in a row, Lilo & Stitch and Minority Report were at each other's necks. This time though, "Stitch" beat Cruise by a hair with 12.6 million. "Report" only brought in 12.5 million. "Minority Report" should cross 100 million this week, but hey, "Stitch" is already there, being the first 2-D animated flick to do so since Disney's 1999 summer smash "Tarzan."

In the "sorta-surprised" catagory, the family basketball comedy Like Mike debuted in fifth place with 12.1 million, with a total gross of 19 million. The film did score some pretty decent reviews, not to mention it was a smart movie by Fox to push the release date up 9 days for the holiday weekend. Lil' Bow Wow (oh, sorry, it's just Bow Wow now) may be on to another career beside rapping...

Still doing strong is The Bourne Identity with 9.1 million, and should cross 100 million soon. Scooby-Doo is dropping down, taking in 7 more million, while The Sum Of All Fears brought in 3.7 million for the weekend.

To my surprise, The Powerpuff Girls Movie flat out bombed with 3.5 million, only making 6.1 million since it's Wednesday opening. Even "Hey Arnold! The Movie" did better than this. Still, these are prime examples that just because you hype movies based on major properties up on the networks where their shows air, doesn't mean box office. Each show has big audiences, plus the hype, so it is a bit disheartening to Time Warner and Viacom, I'm sure. Maybe the kids are away at camp? No matter I suppose... I'm sure each will do fine on video and DVD. Anyway, they were also rather cheap to make too.

Finally, Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood brought in 2.8 million, now having an overall domestic gross of over 60 million. Not bad at all, if I say so myself.

Next weekend: Tom Hanks teams with Sam Mendes for "Road To Perdition" (a sure fire Oscar® contender), and Steve Irwin jumps to the big screen. Oh yeah... "Reign Of Fire" too. Will any of these pose a threat to those guys in black suits? Probably not, but we'll see.

Stay tuned DVD fans...

Oh, and on one final note, today Academy Award® winning actor Rod Steiger died. He was truly a marvelous, benevolent actor with a large body of work. He will be deeply missed.

-Zach B.