Monday, July 21, 2003

'Bad Boys II' good for $46.7M as the weekend's No. 1 draw



By David Germain
The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - Bad boys old and new ruled the box office.

The buddy-cop flick Bad Boys II debuted at No. 1 with $46.7 million, trailed by last weekend's top film, the buccaneer adventure Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, with $33.3 million, according to studio estimates.

The weekend's other new wide releases had so-so debuts. Rowan Atkinson's spy comedy Johnny English, already a $100-million hit overseas, opened in fourth place with $9.3 million. Mandy Moore's teen melodrama How to Deal premiered at No. 8 with $5.8 million.

In limited release, director Stephen Frears' Dirty Pretty Things opened strongly with $101,000 in five theaters. Starring Audrey Tautou in a dark thriller about a human-organ black market centered at a London hotel, the film expands to more theaters Aug. 1.

The overall box office surged, with the top 12 movies taking in $137.6 million, up 33 percent from the same weekend last year, according to box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. Weekend revenues generally have trailed last year's, with the summer box office about 2 percent behind 2002's.

It was a one-two punch by blockbuster baron Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced both Bad Boys II and Pirates of the Caribbean.

"To take the No. 1 and 2 positions, which I don't think any producer has ever done in history, it's spectacular," said Chuck Viane, head of distribution for Disney, which released Pirates of the Caribbean.

Bad Boys II reunited Bruckheimer, director Michael Bay and stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, the team behind 1995's action comedy Bad Boys. By the end of its first week, Bad Boys II should pass the $65.8 million total gross of the original movie, said Jeff Blake, vice chairman at Sony Pictures, which released both flicks.

The sequel pits Smith and Lawrence's trash-talking police partners against an Ecstasy-smuggling ring. The movie overcame harsh reviews from critics, with many calling the action mean-spirited and the violence too far over the top.

"It's anything but a mean-spirited picture," Blake said. "Clearly, the public is having a lot of fun with it. It is over-the-top action, but it's got so many laughs."

Pirates of the Caribbean pushed its 12-day total to $132.2 million and is on the way to becoming the year's fifth movie to top $200 million.

The year's top-grossing movie, the animated fish tale Finding Nemo, had a $7.3 million weekend to cross the $300 million mark.

The top 10

1. Bad Boys II, $46.7 million.

2. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, $33.3 million.

3. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, $10.1 million.

4. Johnny English, $9.3 million.

5. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, $9.2 million.

6. Finding Nemo, $7.3 million.

7. Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, $6.1 million.

8. How to Deal, $5.8 million.

9. Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, $3.7 million.

10. 28 Days Later, $2.55 million.




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'Bad Boys II' good for $46.7M as the weekend's No. 1 draw
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