'Scary Movie' Tops Box Office

ByNancy Chandross

N E W  Y O R K July 9,, 2000 -- — The Perfect Storm was too weak to weather the crude antics of Scary Movie, which debuted in first place at the weekend box office, taking in $42.5 million dollars according to industry estimates.

Dimension Films’ Scary Movie enjoyed the second largest opening of the year, and the biggest for a non-holiday weekend, making this by far the best open for a Wayans brothers production.

The big budget maritime epic The Perfect Storm dropped to second place, with $27 million in ticket sales. Mel Gibson’s Revolutionary War drama The Patriot takes third place with $15 1/2 million. The Patriot and The Perfect Storm both dropped off more than 30 percent from their opening numbers the previous week.

Gross Appeal

Scary Movie spoofs such horror hits as Scream and The Sixth Sense and was produced on a budget of $18 million. The comedy further pushes the limits on gross-out humor and proved audiences will continue to line up for this brand of entertainment.

“We knew we had a strong movie,” says Miramax Marketing President Dennis Rice, “I don’t think anyone expected a four in front of the number, but we knew we would have a solid opening.”

Keenen Ivory Wayans directed and appears in the horror movie spoof, written by and also starring his comedic brothers Shawn and Marlon Wayans.

As this weekends runaway hit, Rice adds this film further plants the trio on the map, “Keenen did a great job making this movie, Sean and Marlon were funny to watch — it’s a strong indication that they’ve got some positive things to look forward to in the future.”

Family Fare

Disney’s The Kid debuted in 4th place, with a modest $12.5 million in receipts. The film stars Bruce Willis as a middle-age guy who meets himself as a child.

Chuck Viane, President of Buena Vista Pictures Distribution is not discouraged by the 4th place open despite such a headlining name. “No, Bruce is a movie star and he took a huge risk going into a family genre, he can do action movies and open really big. Everything’s relative we never thought we would open to $33 million dollars.”

Of the two other movies in theaters now also aimed at the familymarket, Chicken Run and The Adventures of Rocky andBullwinkle, Rocky slipped from fifth to ninth place with $4million in its second week, while Chicken Run slipped only one spot to fifth place with a much healthier $9.5 million.

This weekend brings good news for Hollywood as the second weekend in a row that total box office receipts topped earnings from the previous year, after three weeks of declines.

“The $130 million in the top 10 is 26 percent higher than last year, this is very positive, X-Men will come in [next week] and do really well, the rest of us will continue to have very good legs,” said Viane.

Mr. Showbiz and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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