Plenty of people lined up over the weekend to find out if Uma Thurman could “Kill Bill.” The sequel to Quentin Tarantino’s homage to martial-arts revenge movies easily won the box-office race in its debut with an estimated $25.6 million take. Though “Vol. 1″ also debuted in the top spot, “Vol. 2″ took in approximately 16 percent more than its bloodier predecessor.
(Click for photos of “Kill Bill Vol.2″ .)
Vengeance was the order of the day, as the adaptation of the comic book “The Punisher” also had a strong debut, coming in at #2 with $14 million. The two films are the latest in a spate of revenge-minded movies (“Walking Tall,” the upcoming “Man on Fire”) that went into production after September 11, 2001, a trend some critics have attributed to the mindset of the nation in the aftermath of the terror attacks. (Click for photos of “The Punisher” .)
The rest of the top 10 featured a slight reshuffling of last week’s top finishers, which was bad news for Nia Vardalos of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” fame. After flopping in the TV version of her smash indie hit, Vardalos made her way back onto the big screen over the weekend with the drag-queen comedy, “Connie and Carla” — well, she tried to, anyway. The film, playing on half as many screens as the top two finishers (though just a few hundred less than #3 flick “Johnson Family Vacation”) barely made a dent, coming in at #13 with $3.2 million.
The news wasn’t much better for Disney’s poorly reviewed “The Alamo,” which dropped six spots to #10 on $4 million, for a two-week total of $16.3 million — a long way from recouping its reported $100-plus million price tag.
“The Passion of the Christ” had a see-saw ride, dropping down to #9 after rocketing back up to #1 over the Easter weekend. The week’s $4.2 million take put the movie over $360 million domestically.
Rounding out the top 10 are “Johnson Family Vacation” at #3 with $6.4 million; “Hellboy” at #4 with $5.7 million; “Home on the Range” at #5 with $5.4 million; “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” at #6 with $5.1 million; “Walking Tall” at #7 with $4.6 million and “Ella Enchanted” at #8 with $4.4 million.
“Alias” star Jennifer Garner will see how far TV fame gets you on the big screen with her first major starring role next weekend in the body-switch comedy “13 Going on 30.” Also opening is the Denzel Washington drama “Man on Fire,” about a bodyguard who goes on a revenge spree after the young girl he was hired to protect is kidnapped. “Clifford’s Really Big Movie” brings the popular big red dog to theaters featuring the voice of late comedian John Ritter in his final film role.
After seven weeks of receipts that were up over last year’s figures, the overall box office numbers were down two percent over the same weekend a year ago, with total grosses around $86.6 million.