After a scare from a “Big Fish” last week, “The Lord of the Rings: The
Return of the King” was finally usurped at the box office after a month
in the top slot by the latest Bennifer offering, “Along Came Polly.”
No, not that Bennifer; the new power coupling consists of Ben
Stiller and Jennifer Aniston.
The romantic comedy about unlucky-in-love, germ-phobic risk assessor Stiller took in $27.6 million, according to studio estimates (click for photos from “Along Came Polly”
), giving it
the highest grossing Martin Luther King holiday weekend opening ever,
beating the previous champ, 2001′s “Save the Last Dance” ($23.4
A week after its studio erroneously claimed it had beat out “The Return of the King,” the Tim Burton tall-tale fantasy “Big Fish” held
on to a distant second place with an estimated $10.4 million. Nipping
at its heels was the new Ice Cube motorcycle drama, “Torque,” which
came in at third with $10.3 million (click for photos from “Torque” ), followed by “King” with $10.2
million. The final installment of Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy has
already banked $326.8 million domestically and more than $771 million
around the globe, with estimates holding for it to potentially cross
the billion-dollar mark.
The Steve Martin ensemble comedy “Cheaper by the Dozen” continued its
strong showing at #5 with an estimated $8.7 million, putting its
one-month total at $111 million. Both the Tom Cruise drama “The Last
Samurai” and the Jack Nicholson comedy “Something’s Gotta Give” also
passed the $100 million mark over the weekend.
The only other new movie in wide release, the PG-13 cartoon “Disney’s Teacher’s Pet,” was a flop, limping into the #13 spot on grosses of
$2.4 million. The news was better for the critically acclaimed Charlize
Theron drama “Monster,” which picked up nearly 80 percent more business
in limited release to land at #16 with $1.5 million in estimated
Rounding out the top 10 are “Cold Mountain” at #6 with $7 million; “Something’s Gotta Give” at #7 with $6 million; “My Baby’s Daddy” at #8
with $3.6 million; “The Last Samurai” at #9 with $3.12 million and
“Calendar Girls” at #10 with $3.1 million.
With the top 12 movies taking in $95.6 million overall, box-office
receipts were four percent less than the same weekend last year.