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'Wedding Planner,' Still No. 1, Makes 'Valentine' a Bridesmaid

February 05, 2001|From Associated Press

Traditional Valentine's romance won out over the slasher variety at the box office over the weekend.

Jennifer Lopez's "The Wedding Planner" remained the No. 1 movie for the second straight weekend, taking in $11 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. Lopez also is riding high on music charts with her album "J.Lo," which debuted at No. 1 last week.

The horror flick "Valentine," about a serial killer preying on beautiful women, overcame bad reviews to open in second place with a respectable $10.1 million. The movie stars David Boreanaz and Denise Richards.

The weekend's other new movie, "Head Over Heels," fared poorly with just $5 million, finishing at No. 7. Freddie Prinze Jr. and Monica Potter star in the comedy about a woman who suspects her new beau may be a murderer.

Although no one film dominated the market, the overall box office still managed to increase. The top 12 films grossed $73.8 million, up 2.3% from the same weekend a year ago, when "Scream 3" opened with a whopping $34.7 million.

"This is just a testament to the strength of the holdovers that are in the marketplace right now," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations, which tracks the box office.

"Chocolat" climbed into the top 10 for the first time with $3.7 million, grossing more than it did last weekend even though its theater count dropped by 30 to 1,173 cinemas.

"Cast Away" placed third, with $7.41 million, and became the third movie released in 2000 to pass $200 million. The others were "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "M:I-2."

The box office has been up every weekend this year, a trend certain to continue next weekend with the premiere of "Hannibal," sequel to "The Silence of the Lambs."

Both "Valentine" and "Head Over Heels" were manhandled by reviewers, but "Valentine" distributor Warner Bros. "didn't consider this a review-based movie. There's certainly an audience that enjoys these kinds of movies," said Dan Fellman, head of distribution.

Likewise, Universal did not expect to lose money on "Head Over Heels," said Nikki Rocco, head of distribution.

"There's a lot of life after the theatrical release, and this is another little film in the coffers for home video," Rocco said.

In a reversal of that process, Cloud Ten Pictures released its evangelical Christian thriller "Left Behind" to theaters this weekend after it debuted on home video last fall. The movie, which stars Kirk Cameron and Brad Johnson, grossed about $2.55 million, averaging $2,900 on 874 screens.


Estimated weekend grosses (in millions):

1. "The Wedding Planner": $11

2. "Valentine": $10.1

3. "Cast Away": $7.41

4. "Save the Last Dance": $7.4

5. "Crouching Tiger . . . ": $7.35

6. "Traffic": $6.3

7. "Head Over Heels": $5

8. "Finding Forrester": $4.4

9. "Snatch": $4.1

10. "Chocolat": $3.7

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