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''Rings'' spends a fourth weekend at No. 1

Colin Hanks’ ”Orange County” makes an impressive third-place debut

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Liv Tyler, The Lord of the Rings, ...
Lord of the Rings: Pierre Vinet

Okay, this is starting to get a bit boring.

For the fourth week in a row, ”The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” held off all competitors to remain the top movie at the box office, grossing another $16.2 million and bringing its four-week total to over $228 million. At this rate, the blockbuster, which dropped a respectable 30 percent from last weekend, is certainly on track to challenge the $300-million-plus-grossing ”Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” for the No. 1 movie of 2001. The next few weeks will be crucial, as the fantasy stands to figure big in the upcoming Academy Award nominations, which will only increase its box office.

Second place again went to another likely Oscar contender, Russell Crowe’s ”A Beautiful Mind,” which earned $15.8 million, making its total to date an impressive $59 million. As the drama increased its theater count by 369 this weekend, it only dropped 5 percent from last week.

The week’s only new wide release, the Colin Hanks/Jack Black teen comedy ”Orange County,” premiered with a strong $15.1 million, higher than most analysts had projected (in fact, the well-reviewed film was actually No. 1 on Friday). Perhaps Hanks is on his way to becoming as big a draw as his father?

Rounding out the top five were two returning ensemble comedies: ”Ocean’s Eleven” stole another $7.5 million, while ”The Royal Tenenbaums” grossed $6.4 million. Next week, an ensemble of a different kind, the war drama ”Black Hawk Down,” opens wide. Could a new No. 1 be far behind?

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