View Full Version : 'Grudge' Delivers Shock at Box Office!

25-10-04, 12:15
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "The Grudge," a low-budget horror movie starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, delivered an additional shock on Sunday by selling $40 million worth of tickets in its first three days at the North American box office, doubling the expectations of its distributor.

The Columbia Pictures project, a remake of a Japanese haunted-house thriller that was released in the United States earlier this year, took over the No. 1 slot from the cartoon "Shark Tale," which had been the top movie for the past three weeks.

"If we would have done twenty (million dollars), we would have been ecstatic," said Rory Bruer, president of domestic distribution at the Sony Corp. -owned studio.

Gellar, perhaps best-known for playing the title character in TV's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," plays an American in Tokyo who must outwit a ghoulish presence. The PG-13-rated film was directed by Takashi Shimizu, who also made the original, "Ju-On." Bruer said the remake cost less than $10 million to produce, and a sequel is in the cards.

DreamWorks' "Shark Tale" earned $14.3 million for the three days beginning Friday, taking its total to $136.9 million. But the privately held studio was less successful with its latest movie, "Surviving Christmas," starring Ben Affleck and James Gandolfini, which opened at No. 7 with a disappointing $4.5 million. DreamWorks distribution president Jim Tharp said he had hoped it would open closer to $7 million.

The top 10 contained one other new entrant, "I Heart Huckabees," which jumped two places to No. 10 with $3 million after expanding its theater count in its fourth weekend. David O. Russell's twisted comedy has been big in college towns, but it appeared to flunk with audiences elsewhere. The film was released by Fox Searchlight Pictures, a unit of News Corp.'s Fox Entertainment Group Inc .

Rounding out the top five, Miramax Films' Jennifer Lopez-Richard Gere romantic comedy "Shall We Dance?" rose one place to No. 3 with $8.6 million after expanding its theater count in its second weekend. Its total now stands at $24.4 million.

Universal Pictures' "Friday Night Lights," starring Billy Bob Thornton as the coach of a high school football team, fell two to No. 4 with $7 million in its third weekend. Its score rose to $47.3 million.

The marionette comedy "Team America: World Police" fell two places to No. 5 with $6.6 million in its second weekend, taking the total for the Paramount Pictures release to $22.3 million.

Miramax is a unit of Walt Disney Co . Universal is a unit of General Electric Co. -controlled NBC Universal. Paramount is a unit of Viacom Inc.