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''Cast Away'' tops the holiday weekend box office

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Tom Hanks, Cast Away
Hanks: 20th Century Fox

”Cast Away” dominated this weekend’s box office battle of the manly mugs. The Tom Hanks survival spectacle took the No. 1 position with a tsunami like $41.5 million in estimated earnings. The drama sailed past the $100 million mark on Sunday after just 10 days in release; its two week total is $111.2 million.

Hanks might be the millennium’s biggest male star, but the Mel Gibson’s crowd pleaser ”What Women Want” (No. 2) took in a respectable $25.4 million this new year, bringing its three week total to $114.8 million. Sandra Bullock’s ”Miss Congeniality” jumped two spots to No. 3 with an $18. 2 million take.

The Nicolas Cage comedy ”Family Man” ($16.8 million) fell to No. 4, while Disney’s latest animated offering ”The Emperor’s New Groove” ($14.5 million) rounded out the top five. Meanwhile, the widely anticipated Steven Soderbergh flick, ”Traffic,” opened this weekend in limited release, taking in $240,000 on just four screens.

Critical Mass

Hanks may be the hunk who wins over ticket buyers, but EW.com readers find Gibson and Cage equally appealing. ”Cast Away,” ”What Women Want,” and ”Family Man” all scored a solid average grade of B from our voters (critics have not weighed in). Fifty-one percent say they saw the Hanks and Gibson movies for their stars, while only 35 percent saw ”Family Man” for Cage. Instead, 40 percent said the Cage romantic comedy’s trailer piqued their interest.

Even with a limited release this weekend, ”Traffic” received an above average B+ from EW.com voters who have seen it. The drug running drama is widely touted as a potential Best Picture winner. Another contender for Oscar’s top prize, ”Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” continues to earn straight As from EW.com readers. Check out how ”Traffic” fares next week when it expands to more than 1,000 screens nationwide.

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