Monday, April 28, 2003

'Identity' takes in $17 million

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - The murder-mystery Identity made a killing at the box office, taking in $17 million in its first weekend and displacing Anger Management as the top movie.

Anger Management slipped to second place after two weekends in the top spot, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. The Adam Sandler-Jack Nicholson comedy grossed $16 million, pushing its 17-day total to $104.5 million.

Identity, with John Cusack, Ray Liotta and Amanda Peet, is a thriller about travelers stranded in a rainstorm at a motel where guests are bumped off one by one.

The weekend's other new releases debuted weakly. The con-men romp Confidence, with Edward Burns and Dustin Hoffman, came in at No. 5 with $4.75 million.

It Runs in the Family, a comic drama starring Kirk and Michael Douglas, opened at No. 9 with $3 million.

Overall revenues rose, with the top 12 movies grossing $78.6 million, up 9 percent from the same weekend a year ago. For the year, though, the box office is lagging about 7 percent behind 2002's revenues.

Business should heat up next weekend as X2: X-Men United opens. Analysts saying the sequel's debut could exceed the $54.5 million first-weekend haul of X-Men in July 2000.

"X2 is probably going to do great business, but it's a tough comparison when you look at the year ago numbers of Spider-Man," which debuted with a record $114.8 million, said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Sony, the studio behind Spider-Man, had this weekend's No. 1 and 2 movies in Identity and Anger Management.

"We're having a very good weekend," said Rory Bruer, president of Sony Pictures Releasing. "We really figured 'Identity' would open fairly strong, but this is far better than anticipated."

The top 10

1. Identity, $17 million

2. Anger Management, $16 million

3. Holes, $13 million

4. Malibu's Most Wanted, $7.7 million

5. Confidence, $4.75 million

6. Bulletproof Monk, $4.65 million

7. What a Girl Wants, $3.35 million

8. Phone Booth, $3.1 million

9. It Runs in the Family, $3 million

10. The Real Cancun, $2.3 millionBox office

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