Originally created 07/10/02

'Men in Black II' posts huge box-office haul



LOS ANGELES -- Big guns mean big money. "Men in Black II," the action comedy about agents with huge weapons policing extraterrestrial riffraff, debuted with $52.1 million in its first weekend.

Starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, "Men in Black II" pushed its total to $87.2 million since opening Wednesday.

The movie took over the No. 1 slot from "Mr. Deeds," which came in second with $18.4 million in its second weekend. "Lilo & Stitch" was third with $12.6 million and "Minority Report" was fourth with $12.56 million.

The basketball family flick "Like Mike," starring teen rapper Bow Wow, debuted at No. 5 with $12.2 million. The weekend's other big release, "The Powerpuff Girls Movie," grossed $3.6 million for a weak ninth-place debut.

"Men in Black II" broke the record for best Fourth of July weekend, beating the original "Men in Black," which grossed $51.1 million over the same weekend in 1997. Accounting for today's higher admission prices, however, the sequel sold fewer tickets than the original.

With the big "Men in Black II" debut and strong holdover films, Hollywood set a record for the long holiday weekend. From Wednesday to Sunday, the top 12 films grossed about $215 million, compared with $198.2 million for the top 50 over the five-day Fourth of July weekend in 1996, the previous record holder.

"Given how this year is going and the records already broken, it's really no surprise this Fourth of July would be a record-breaker," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

The industry is on track to shatter its revenue record of $8.4 billion set last year. This year's box office has been powered by such blockbusters as "Spider-Man," which took in more money during an opening weekend than any film in history.

The top 20 movies at North American theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. and Nielsen EDI Inc. are:

1. "Men in Black II," Sony, $52.1 million, 3,557 locations, $14,661 average, $87.2 million, one week.

2. "Mr. Deeds," Sony, $18.4 million, 3,231 locations, $5,698 average, $73.6 million, two weeks.

3. "Lilo & Stitch," Disney, $12.6 million, 3,222 locations, $3,922 average, $103 million, three weeks.

4. "Minority Report," Fox, $12.56 million, 2,729 locations, $4,601 average, $97.1 million, three weeks.

5. "Like Mike," 20th Century Fox, $12.2 million, 2,410 locations, $5,054 average, $19 million, one week.

6. "The Bourne Identity," Universal, $9.2 million, 2,512 locations, $3,645 average, $89 million, four weeks.

7. "Scooby-Doo," Warner Bros., $7 million, 3,257 locations, $2,156 average, $137.5 million, four weeks.

8. "The Sum of All Fears," Paramount, $3.7 million, 1,592 locations, $2,334 average, $111.7 million, six weeks.

9. "The Powerpuff Girls Movie," Warner Bros., $3.6 million, 2,340 locations, $1,531 average, $6.1 million, one week.

10. "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood," Warner Bros., $2.8 million, 1,792 locations, $1,571 average, $61.1 million, five weeks.

11. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," IFC Films, $2.5 million, 499 locations, $5,028 average, $23.6 million, 12 weeks.

12. "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones," Fox, $2.45 million, 1,162 locations, $2,109 average, $291.3 million, eight weeks.

13. "Spider-Man," Sony, $2.2 million, 1,502 locations, $1,468 average, $400.1 million, 10 weeks.

14. "Hey Arnold! The Movie," Paramount, $2 million, 2,534 locations, $793 average, $10.7 million, two weeks.

15. "Windtalkers," MGM, $1.8 million, 1,563 locations, $1,132 average, $36.6 million, four weeks.

16. "Juwanna Mann," Warner Bros., $1 million, 852 locations, $1,196 average, $12.1 million, three weeks.

17. "Insomnia," Warner Bros., $731,895, 460 locations, $1,591 average, $65 million, seven weeks.

18. "Space Station," IMAX, $724,306, 60 locations, $12,072 average, $12.3 million, 12 weeks.

19. "About a Boy," Universal, $579,530, 487 locations, $1,190 average, $40.1 million, eight weeks.

20. "The Importance of Being Earnest," Miramax, $491,101, 216 locations, $2,274 average, $5.8 million, seven weeks.