Proving once again that even bad reviews can't keep a beloved character down, "The Cat in the Hat" sprang into first place in the weekend box-office race with $40.1 million, according to studio estimates.
While reviewers skewered everything from Mike Myers' signature high-energy antics to the overly busy look of the film, the second major motion picture based on a beloved Dr. Seuss book followed in the successful footsteps of 2000's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." That Jim Carrey-topped movie opened to $55.1 million in receipts and ended up grossing more than $260 million.
"Gothika," starring Halle Berry, came in second with an estimated $19.6 million (click for photos from "Gothika"), followed by last week's #1 movie, "Elf," which dropped to #3 with $19.1 million, bringing its total to just over $95 million.
Last week's #2 film, Russell Crowe's "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World," dropped down to #4 for an estimated $15.2 million, while the Hugh Grant romantic comedy "Love Actually" settled into the #5 slot with $9.1 million.
It was another bad week for "The Matrix Revolutions" as the final film in the sci-fi series continued its box-office nosedive, taking in just $6.7 million, dropping 59 percent from the previous weekend when it was off more than 60 percent from its opening week. The film is now expected to end up banking less than half of May's "The Matrix Reloaded," which brought in $282 million.
Though it was only playing in eight theaters in New York and Los Angeles, the well-reviewed drama "21 Grams," starring Sean Penn and Benicio Del Toro, banked $256,434 over the weekend, averaging $32,054 per screen or more than three times as much per screen as "The Cat in the Hat."
Overall, box-office receipts were down for the second weekend in a row, dipping 11 percent from last year's numbers for the same time period. Rounding out the top-10 films are "Brother Bear" at #7 with $5.5 million; "Looney Tunes: Back in Action" at #8 with $4.1 million; "Scary Movie 3" at #9 with $3.3 million and "Radio" at #10 with $2.6 million.