'Anger Management' holds on to its box-office punch

Monday, April 21, 2003

LOS ANGELES -- "Anger Management" kept its grip on the No. 1 spot at the box office for a second weekend.

The Adam Sandler-Jack Nicholson comedy took in $25.6 million in ticket sales, giving it a 10-day total of $80.3 million.

That means it should hit $100 million by next weekend and does not face serious competition from new films until May 2, when "X2: X-Men United" opens, said Tom Sherak, a partner in Revolution Studios, which produced "Anger Management" for Sony.

The family flick "Holes," based on Louis Sachar's book about the adventures of juvenile delinquents forced to dig holes in a dry lake bed, debuted a strong second with $17.1 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

"Holes," whose cast includes Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight and Patricia Arquette, had the strongest average among the top 10 films, at $7,336 in 2,331 theaters. "Anger Management" was next at $7,171 in 3,570 cinemas.

"Malibu's Most Wanted," with Jamie Kennedy as a white rapper whose gangsta demeanor cramps his father's political ambitions, opened at No. 3 with $13.1 million. Chow Yun-Fat's martial-arts action comedy "Bulletproof Monk," about a Buddhist superhero charged with protecting a sacred scroll, debuted in fourth place with $8.6 million.

In narrower release, the comedy "Chasing Papi," about a ladies man with three women on the line, opened at No. 12 with $2.21 million.

"A Mighty Wind," the latest "mockumentary" from director Christopher Guest ("Best in Show"), nearly equaled the gross for "Chasing Papi" while playing in fewer than a fourth as many theaters.

"Mighty Wind," a spoof about a reunion concert of '60s folk groups, took in $2.2 million in just 133 theaters for an impressive $16,541 average, compared to a $3,778 average in 585 cinemas for "Chasing Papi."

Box-office analysts were surprised by "Holes," whose returns exceeded even distributor Disney's expectations by a few million dollars.

"'Holes' was sort of off the radar," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. "But kids know this book, and there's really no movies out there for kids right now. Almost every time when there's a void in the marketplace for family films, all of a sudden one pops up, and families rush out."

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

1. "Anger Management," $25.6 million.

2. "Holes," $17.1 million.

3. "Malibu's Most Wanted," $13.1 million.

4. "Bulletproof Monk," $8.6 million.

5. "Phone Booth," $5.7 million.

6. "What a Girl Wants," $4.8 million.

7. "Bringing Down the House," $3.3 million.

8. "A Man Apart," $2.6 million.

9. "Chicago," $2.5 million.

10. "House of 1,000 Corpses," $2.4 million.

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