The post-holiday weekend left the team behind Harry Potter with plenty to be thankful for, as family audiences sent the kid-wizard flick "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" back to #1 at the box office. (Click to see photos from "Harry Potter.")
The second film drawn from the popular J.K. Rowling books earned $31.1 million, according to studio estimates, pushing its total past $200 million and knocking the record-breaking James Bond flick "Die Another Day" out of the top spot.
"Chamber of Secrets" opened at #1 three weeks ago (see "Harry Potter's Spell Turns Eminem Into Rabbit Stew") but was dethroned by "Die Another Day," (see "James Bond Rolls Over Eminem, Harry Potter"), which took in $31 million over the weekend to land at #2. The film, which marks the 40th anniversary of the 007 franchise, has made $101.6 million so far. (Click to see photos from "Die Another Day.")
Of the five widely released films that were new to theaters over the weekend (see "Cartoon Sandler, Sci-Fi Clooney, 'Treasure Planet' Take On 007, Harry Potter"), four cracked the top 10. Disney's animated "Treasure Planet" debuted at #4 with $11.9 million, while Adam Sandler's slightly more "adult" humor-oriented cartoon "Eight Crazy Nights" (see Will Adam Sandler's Poopsicle Rank With Rudolph's Nose?") came in right behind it at #5 with $10.1 million. The George Clooney sci-fi love story "Solaris" came in at #7 with $6.7 million, while "They" debuted at #9 with $5.7 million. "Extreme Ops" made less than $5.5 million and failed to enter the top 10.
As for old favorites, "The Santa Clause 2" edged past "Treasure Planet" with $12.3 million in its fifth week to land at #3. The Tim Allen sequel has made $113.9 million. "Friday After Next" dropped by more than 40 percent in its second week, making $7.7 million for an overall $25.6 million and landing at #6, while "8 Mile" slid to #8 with $5.9 million for an overall four-week total of $107.5 million.
"The Ring" came in at #10 with $5.5 million, pushing its seven-week haul to $120 million. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," in its 33rd week in theaters, slid out of the top 10 but added $4 million to its already impressive $206 million total.