The dog days of summer are upon us.
The crime-fighting-dog movie "Scooby-Doo" shattered a box office record over the weekend in one of the biggest cinema surprises in recent memory. The live-action adaptation of the classic cartoon TV series raked in $56 million in its opening weekend, making it the biggest June opener in history.
For the last three years, "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" held the record for largest opening during this time of year. The spy spoof sequel earned roughly $1 million less than "Scooby" when it debuted in 1999. Featuring a computer-generated Scoob with the rest of the gang played by Matthew Lillard, Freddie Prinze, Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar and Linda Cardellini "Scooby-Doo" is the third biggest opening of this year, right behind "Spider-Man" and "Star Wars -Episode II: Attack of the Clones" (see "Movie House: 'Star Wars,' 'Spider-Man' Continue To Rule The Box Office").
"Scooby-Doo" played on roughly 800 more screens than the weekend's #2 film, "The Bourne Identity." (Click for photos from the movie) Starring Matt Damon as author Robert Ludlum's amnesiac Jason Bourne, "The Bourne Identity" took in $27.5 million in its first weekend of release (see "Movie House: Will Matt Damon's 'Bourne' Be The Next James Bond?"). "Bourne" is one of two Matt Damon movies in this week's top 10, as the animated "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron" continued to draw enough moviegoers to make it the weekend's #9 movie with $5.5 million.
"Windtalkers," a World War II epic directed by John Woo ("Mission: Impossible 2") and starring Nicolas Cage, who previously worked with Woo on 1997's "Face/ Off," opened in third place, taking in $14.5 million.
Sandra Bullock's "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" moved down 3 spots to #5 in its second week, earning another $9.8 million (see "Movie House: 'Sum Of All Fears' Beats The 'Ya-Ya's Out"). The second "Star Wars" chapter took in an additional $9.2 million, landing it at #6 with an overall take of $270 million. "Spider-Man" was right behind it, bumping its total up to $382 million with an extra $7.4 million. Chris Rock's "Bad Company" moved down to #8 in its second week, with $6.1 million (see "Movie House: Hannibal Lecter + Pootie Tang's Daddy = Box Office Gold?"). Blaxploitation spoof "Undercover Brother" made $4.6 million enough to land it at #10.
"Scooby-Doo" and "The Bourne Identity" will face some fierce competition next week from "Minority Report," the hotly anticipated sci-fi thriller that teams Tom Cruise with director Steven Spielberg for the first time.