Monday, August 11, 2003

'S.W.A.T.' dominates competition

The Associated Press

Calling in the SWAT team proved good business for Hollywood.

Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Farrell's S.W.A.T., adapted from the 1970s TV cop show, slapped the cuffs on enough movie-goers to debut as the weekend's top movie with $37 million, according to estimates Sunday.

Another movie with 1970s roots, a remake of the mother-daughter comedy Freaky Friday, opened in second place with $22.3 million, pushing its total since opening Wednesday to $33.2 million. The film stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan (The Parent Trap) as a squabbling mom and teenage daughter who magically switch bodies.

Last weekend's top movie, American Wedding, slipped to third place with $15.1 million, bringing its 10-day total to $64.9 million. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl continued its fabulous summer by adding $13.1 million to its take.

S.W.A.T. stars Jackson as a veteran special weapons and tactics leader, who trains a new police team that includes Farrell, LL Cool J and Michelle Rodriguez.

Freaky Friday updates the 1976 comedy that starred Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris.

Although audiences initially may have viewed Freaky Friday as a campy remake, solid reviews and a successful round of sneak-peek early screenings helped build solid buzz on the movie.

"Whatever the attitude going in, people coming out of this movie are absolutely loving it," said Disney's Chuck Viane.

Kate Hudson and Naomi Watts' romantic comedy Le Divorce opened strongly in limited release, taking in $533,000 in 34 theaters. From the filmmaking team of director James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant, "Le Divorce" follows the romantic misadventures of two American sisters in Paris. Le Divorce expands to wide release over the next few weekends.

The surfing documentary Step Into Liquid also opened well, taking in $135,000 at just five theaters. The movie will be playing in the top 25 to 30 domestic markets by Aug. 22.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures will be released Monday.

1. "S.W.A.T.," $37 million.

2. "Freaky Friday," $22.3 million.

3. "American Wedding," $15.1 million.

4. "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," $13.1 million.

5. "Seabiscuit," $11.9 million.

6. "Spy Kids 3-D: Gave Over," $10.1 million.

7. "Bad Boys II," $6 million.

8. "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life," $5.2 million.

9. "Finding Nemo," $2.5 million.

10. "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," $1.6 million.

Exhausted filmmakers wind up 48-hour shoot
Who'll marry this dad?
Vote in our 'Marry My Dad' poll
Parents can aid kids' schedule adjustment
Kids may ask about Kobe
Cancer claims Gregory Hines at 57
Bats Incredible! Home Page
Get to it!

Parents can see grades online
Switch option appreciated
Parents can aid kids' schedule adjustment
Guide to Tristate public schools (PDF, 1mb)

Stars display dazzling feats
G. Love shows special flair
311, O.A.R. deliver heartland reggae
Hip-hop enthusiasts summit at Scribble Jam
3 Doors Down's not fancy, they just rock
'S.W.A.T.' dominates competition

Bumper crop of Cornhole grows in Tristate
Fit bits: Ways to stay active and healthy
Increased muscle mass will help burn fat

Checking in with the 25 forces shaping our culture
Museum opens with a bang
Economy still putting the squeeze on
Arts heart of plan to give city shot in the arm
City gets some good press, for a change
Downtown isn't the only show - Newport and Dayton make strides
Move is on to get people interested and involved

Despite economy, opera enjoyed successful year
Opera-goers voice opinions about Muni, selections, performers
'Harry Potter' illustrator also designed opera artwork