Two weeks ago, DMX was behind bars. Today, he's on top of Hollywood.
The rapper, who was released from jail on March 9 after serving 10 days for a traffic violation, left a mark at the box office over the weekend with "Exit Wounds," which debuted at #1 and revived the career of action star Steven Seagal.
The thriller grossed $19 million at North American theaters from Friday to Sunday according to Reuters, earning nearly $6 million more than the World War II drama, "Enemy at the Gates," which opened at #2, according to studio estimates.
"Exit Wounds," which pits Seagal and DMX against a precinct of corrupt cops, marks Seagal's best debut ever and rescued the 49-year-old former martial arts instructor from a nine-year box office slump.
While Seagal's "Under Siege" opened with $14 million in 1992, 1997's "Fire Down Below" grossed only $16 million total, according to Reuters,. His low-budget 1998 thriller, "The Patriot," went straight to video.
Seagal owes at least some of the success of "Exit Wounds" to DMX, whose rap albums have sold millions of copies in recent years. According to exit polls, the Warner Bros. movie received a strong response from the black community and drew in an unexpectedly high proportion of female moviegoers.
DMX last appeared on the big screen in 2000's "Romeo Must Die," which was directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak and produced by Joel Silver, the same team behind "Exit Wounds." Silver has garnered six consecutive #1 debuts, including "Romeo Must Die" and "The Matrix."
"Exit Wounds," which cost under $40 million to make and co-stars Tom Arnold, features the new DMX single "No Sunshine."
DMX, who also starred in 1998's "Belly," is preparing for his role in "Lazarus," the fourth film in "The Crow" franchise. The actor/rapper is also recording tracks for The Ear, his fourth studio album and the follow-up to the multiplatinum ... And Then There Was X.