View Full Version : 'Scooby-Doo' Sequel Has Wow Bow at U.S. Box

29-03-04, 14:22
By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Proving that every dog has its day at the box office, the new "Scooby-Doo" sequel led the weekend pack at movie theaters across North America, although it chewed off less than its hit predecessor.

"Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed" sold about $30.8 million worth of tickets since opening March 26, its distributor, Warner Bros. Pictures, said on Sunday. The three-day haul compares with a $54.2 million bow for 2002's "Scooby-Doo," which had the benefit of a summer release.

Both films, based on the big-screen version of the Hanna-Barbera TV cartoon series, starred Freddie Prinze (news), Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar (news), Matthew Lillard (news) and Linda Cardellini (news) as the crime-fighting pals of the titular cowardly Great Dane.

Officials at the studio, a unit of Time Warner Inc, hope the lack of competition will give the film a longer run than it would have enjoyed during the busy summer period.

The Tom Hanks (news) comedy "The Ladykillers" opened within expectations at No. 2 with $13 million, setting a new record for its writer/directors, Joel and Ethan Coen (news). Their previous best was "Intolerable Cruelty," which opened to $12.5 million last year. "Ladykillers," a remake of a 1955 English heist comedy starring Alec Guinness (news), was released by Touchstone Pictures, a unit of Walt Disney Co .

"The Passion of the Christ" slipped one place to No. 3 with $12.5 million. With $315 million banked after five weekends, Mel Gibson (news)'s Jesus epic is outpacing "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," which has earned about $375 million.

Last weekend's top dog, Universal Pictures' zombie horror remake "Dawn of the Dead" fell to No. 4 with $10.4 million. Its 10-day total rose to $43.9 million.

Ben Affleck (news) rebounded somewhat from his infamous bomb, "Gigli," to open at No. 5 with "Jersey Girl," a romance directed by Kevin Smith (news). The Miramax Films release earned $8.3 million, slightly higher than expectations. Affleck's turn as a widowed publicist with a young daughter played overwhelmingly to young females, the Disney-owned studio said.

One other film opened in theaters, the low-budget urban drama "Never Die Alone," starring rapper DMX. The Fox Searchlight Pictures release grabbed the No. 11 spot with a "satisfactory" $3.1 million, the studio said. Almost 90 percent of viewers were black, it added.

"The Passion of the Christ" was released by Newmarket Films, a unit of closely held Newmarket Capital Group. Universal is owned by Vivendi Universal SA . Fox Searchlight is owned by Fox Entertainment Group Inc .

Overall sales rose for the fifth consecutive weekend, according to tracking firm Exhibitor Relations. The top 12 films grossed $110 million, up 26 percent from the year-ago period, when the comedy "Head of State" opened at No. 1 with $13.5 million.

29-03-04, 17:44
I loved Scooby doo 2. http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/jumper.gif