Monday, April 29, 2002

'Scorpion' still rules box office

By David Germain
The Associated Press

        The Scorpion King ruled the box office for a second straight weekend with $17.6 million, but its reign is about to end with the arrival of another hero that's part man, part bug.

        One of the most hotly awaited comic-book adaptations ever, Spider-Man opens next weekend and is expected to be the summer season's first blockbuster.

        “This is one of the most anticipated movies of the year,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. “It's a total summer movie. It's exactly what people want in summer.”

        Scorpion King distributor Universal wisely chose to slip its action flick into the lineup two weeks ahead of Spider-Man. Starring pro wrestler The Rock in a spinoff of The Mummy franchise, The Scorpion King debuted with $36.1 million last weekend, a record for a film opening in April.

        The movie has taken in $60.8 million in its first 10 days.

        “We gave ourselves two full weeks with a lot of visibility and no real competition out there,” said Nikki Rocco, head of distribution for Universal. “It turns out to have been a very successful strategy.”

        The thriller Changing Lanes held the No. 2 spot for the second straight weekend with $9 million, pushing its 17-day total to $44.6 million.

        This weekend's main new films had weak debuts.

        The romantic comedy Life or Something Like It, starring Angelina Jolie as a shallow TV journalist coping with a street soothsayer's prediction that she's about to die, opened in third place with $6.65 million.

        Jason X, a sci-fi update of the Friday the 13th horror franchise, premiered at No. 4 with $6.5 million.

        The rest of the top ten:
       5. Murder by Numbers, $6.3 million.
       6. The Rookie, $5.4 million.
       7. Ice Age, $4.6 million.
       8. Panic Room, $4.2 million.
       9. High Crimes, $3 million.
       10. The Sweetest Thing, $2.9 million.


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