Peter Mountain
February 14, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST

Leonardo DiCaprio had something to scream about this weekend after his new movie, ”The Beach,” was bested by last week’s box office victor, ”Scream 3,” for the No. 1 slot. Despite a 53 percent drop from a week ago, the Courteney Cox – David Arquette horror flick topped three new releases with a $16.4 million take. ”The Beach” came in second with $15 million, ”Snow Day” snagged third with $14.8 million, and ”The Tigger Movie” landed at fourth with $9.2 million. The long-running ”The Hurricane” ($3.6 million) rounded out the top 5.

While ”The Beach” may seem like a box office loser, trailing even DiCaprio’s last film, ”The Man in the Iron Mask” (which opened at $17.2 million), its per-screen average of $5,892 was actually the highest in the top 10. Predicting its fate next week is a little trickier, though our Critical Mass reader’s poll suggests ”The Beach” probably won?t be completely washed up. EW Online readers gave the film an overall C+, with 49 percent of viewers ranking it better than expected, and 34 percent dismissing it as worse than expected. Likewise, 40 percent said they were very likely to see the film again, while 39 percent said nothing could drag them to a second viewing. DiCaprio’s drawing power was what brought most of the audience into theaters, with 46 percent saying the movie’s cast was the main appeal.

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