Despite a bevy of new releases, audiences didn't forget about the Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore amnesia comedy "50 First Dates" over the weekend. The comedy lost nearly 50 percent of its audience but managed to hold onto the #1 spot for a second week while bringing in $21 million, according to studio estimates. The second hit pairing of Sandler and Barrymore has already banked $72.3 million in its first 10 days. (Click for photos from "50 First Dates.")
Its biggest competition came from the debut of Lindsay Lohan's comedy "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen," which came in a distant second with an estimated $9.2 million. (Click for photos from "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.")
None of the week's other new releases were able to match up, including "Everybody Loves Raymond" star Ray Romano's big-screen starring debut, "Welcome to Mooseport," which limped into #4 with $7 million. The film co-stars Gene Hackman as a former president running against plumber Romano for mayor of their small town. Also debuting flat was the raunchy teen road comedy "Eurotrip," which came in at #5 on an estimated $6.6 million.
The week's biggest flop, however, belonged to Hollywood's former golden girl, Meg Ryan, whose boxing film "Against the Ropes" barely made it into the top 10 on an anemic $3 million. With a story inspired by the most successful female boxing manager ever, Jackie Kallen, "Ropes," which came in at #8, waited on the shelf for a year and was plagued by lukewarm reviews.
The Kurt Russell hockey drama "Miracle" slipped a spot to #3 in its third week but continued to do strong business, grossing an estimated $8 million.
Theaters should get a shot in the arm this week when Mel Gibson's controversial "The Passion of the Christ" opens on Ash Wednesday. The $25 million graphic retelling of the final 12 hours in the life of Jesus was financed by Gibson and is expected to debut in more than 3,000 theaters, the largest opening ever for an independent religious-themed film.
Rounding out the top 10 are "Barbershop 2: Back in Business" at #6 with $6.3 million; "Mystic River" at #7 with $3.1 million; "The Butterfly Effect" at #9 with $2.9 million and "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" at #10 with $2.8 million.
The weak debuts contributed to a serious down week overall, with the top 12 movies grossing $75.1 million, 21 percent less than the same weekend a year ago.