‘S.W.A.T.’ Handcuffs ‘Friday’ To Collar #1 Spot At Box Office

Cop thriller earns $37 million over weekend as 'Gigli' slides from top 10.

The people over at Sony Pictures must be breathing a little easier. After unleashing one of the biggest bombs in recent memory with “Gigli,” the studio’s cop caper “S.W.A.T.” topped the box office over the weekend with an estimated $37 million debut. (Click for photos from “S.W.A.T.” )

“Gigli,” meanwhile, quietly disappeared from the top 10.

“S.W.A.T.” will have to keep going strong to recoup its reported $70 million budget, a figure no doubt driven up by the hefty salaries of heavy hitters like Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Farrell, whose “Phone Booth,” “The Recruit” and “Daredevil” all opened at #1 as well.

The weekend’s #2 flick, Disney’s “Freaky Friday,” has pulled in more than $33 million since opening Wednesday, according to studio estimates. A remake of the kid-oriented 1976 comedy about a mother and daughter who mystically switch bodies, “Freaky Friday” was originally going to co-star Kelly Osbourne (see “Kelly Osbourne No Longer Getting ‘Freaky’ “ ) but ended up featuring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan instead. (Click for photos from “Freaky Friday.” )

Angelina Jolie’s “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life” still has a long way to go to recover its $90 million cost. The film has made just $53.6 million in the past three weeks and fell to #8 with $5.2 million over the weekend.

Recently announced California gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger’s (see “Schwarzenegger Seeks To ‘Terminate’ California Governorship” ) “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” is in a similar boat, falling to #10 over the weekend with $1.6 million. The sci-fi action flick cost a reported $170 million to make (including Arnie’s $30 million salary) and has pulled in less than $150 million in six weeks of release.

Last week’s #1 film, “American Wedding,” fell to #3 with $15.1 million. The third and reportedly final installment of the “American Pie” series (see ” ‘Pie’ Cast Says Smaller ‘Wedding’ Is Tastiest Slice Yet” ) has made $64.9 million in two weeks of release.

The rest of the weekend’s top 10 includes “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” at #4 with $13.1 million ($232.8 million, five weeks); Tobey Maguire’s “Seabiscuit” at #5 with $11.9 million ($69.5 million, three weeks); “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over” at #6 with $10.1 million ($87.4 million, three weeks); “Bad Boys II” at #7 with $6 million ($123 million, four weeks); and “Finding Nemo,” now the ninth highest-grossing film of all time, at #9 with $2.5 million ($324.8 million, 11 weeks).