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James Bond conquers the box office with the best 007 opening ever

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A new action star took over this weekend at the box office, and he was a lot more debonair than that ”Pokémon” fella. James Bond blew away audiences with ”The World Is Not Enough,” which took in a stirring $37.2 million, by MGM’s estimation. This enormous sum was the highest Bond debut ever, not to mention the best opening in MGM’s history. And assuming the studio’s numbers prove accurate, this would rank ”World” as the 19th-highest opening weekend in movie history.

Also hacking its way to top grosses was Tim Burton’s ”Sleepy Hollow,” which preyed on the horror zeitgeist to land in second with a sharp $30.5 million. In fact, audiences flocked to Bond’s martini sipping or Johnny Depp’s head stripping to the point where most of the other films were ignored. The rest of the top 5 took a steep drop: ”Pokémon: The First Movie” ($13.3 million, dropping 57 percent from its mammoth first weekend for a total so far of $68.2 million); ”The Bone Collector” ($6.5 million); and ”Dogma” ($4.1 million).

Meanwhile, two recent highly hyped flicks continue to plummet down the chart. In its second week, ”The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc” dropped 61 percent to eighth place, taking in $2.5 million for a $10.8 million total. But at least Sony can take solace in the fact that the film received mediocre reviews, so it makes sense. But even with great reviews moviegoers are ignoring ”The Insider,” which dropped to seventh place in its third week, adding only $2.9 million for a meager total of $18.4 million. The only person who can take solace in that is Mike Wallace.

To vote on these and other current movies, or to see the critics’ grades, visit our Critical Mass Online.

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