What's better than one date on Valentine's Day weekend? How about 50 of
them? Audiences fell in love with the Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore
romance "50 First Dates" over the weekend, driving the movie to a #1
debut with an estimated $41 million in box office. That, depending on
the final numbers, would make it the second-biggest February opening in
history, behind the $58 million bow of "Hannibal" in 2001.
Audiences loved the re-pairing of "The Wedding Singer" duo, who first
hooked up on Valentine's Day in 1998, leading experts to predict that
the $75 million film's weekend numbers could top out around $50 million
thanks to the President's Day holiday on Monday. Barrymore may have
amnesia in the film, but audiences didn't forget about Ice Cube; they
still showed up for the rapper's "Barbershop 2: Back in Business,"
which fell to #2 on $15.6 million, according to studio estimates. The
second installment in the series about life in a hair salon on
Chicago's South Side has already brought in more than $44 million in
its first 10 days. Kurt Russell's hockey drama, "Miracle," slipped a
spot to #3 on estimated grosses of $14 million; it's 10-day total is
Ashton Kutcher's time-travel drama, "The Butterfly Effect," lost
another 12 percent in business but climbed a notch to #4 as it passed
the $50 million mark. And, even though it was frozen out of most of the
top categories in the Oscar nominations, "Cold Mountain" was the only
film in the top 10 already in release to pick up more business over the
weekend. The Civil War drama starring Nicole Kidman and Best Actor
nominee Jude Law saw a 15 percent gain in audience on grosses of $3.7
million, bringing its to-date total to $87 million. And, after a brief
run in the top 10, Best Actress nominee Charlize Theron's serial-killer
drama, "Monster," slipped two spots to #11 on $2.9 million.
Rounding out the top 10 are: "You Got Served" at #5 with $5.1 million;
"Along Came Polly" at #6 with $5.08 million; "Catch That Kid" at #7
with $4.35 million; "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" at
#8 with $4.15 million and "Mystic River" at #10 with $3.55 million. Despite the strong "Dates" action, overall box office was off 13
percent from the same weekend last year, with the top 12 movies taking
in $107.8 million.