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BOX OFFICE

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BLACK POWER

While Denzel and Halle were basking in their historic victories at the Kodak Theatre, Wesley Snipes was busy making a little history of his own, opening Blade II at No. 1 with a scorching $12,016 per-screen average. It’s the biggest debut of Snipes’ career, nearly twice the size of the original’s $17.1 million bow, and serves notice–yet again–that African-American stars are a major mainstream box office force. Elsewhere, playing on a mammoth 3,345 screens, Ice Age didn’t melt, while all of the Oscar-nominated movies still playing enjoyed double-digit percentage gains as audiences scrambled to catch these flicks before Sunday’s Academy Awards.

TOP 20 WEEKEND WEEKS GROSS WEEKEND NO. OF PER-SITE IN TO GROSS* SITES[1] AVERAGE RELEASE DATE 1 BLADE II New Line $32.5 2,707 $12,016 1 $32.5 2 ICE AGE 20th Century Fox $30.1 3,345 $8,986 2 $87.3 3 E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL Universal $14.2 3,007 $4,730 1 $14.2 4 SHOWTIME Warner Bros. $8.1 2,917 $2,792 2 $26.8 5 RESIDENT EVIL Screen Gems $6.7 2,528 $2,652 2 $28.9 6 WE WERE SOLDIERS Paramount $5.7 2,859 $2,004 4 $61.6 7 THE TIME MACHINE DreamWorks $5.3 2,809 $1,895 3 $48.2 8 SORORITY BOYS Touchstone $4.1 1,801 $2,292 1 $4.1 9 A BEAUTIFUL MIND Universal $4.1 1,455 $2,805 14 $154.7 10 40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS Miramax $2.7 1,831 $1,485 4 $34.2 11 THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING New Line $2.4 1,317 $1,795 14 $297.5 12 ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS New Line $2.3 1,123 $2,010 3 $21.1 13 JOHN Q. New Line $2.1 1,302 $1,601 6 $67.4 14 GOSFORD PARK USA Films $1.6 843 $1,896 13 $37.8 15 MONSTER’S BALL Lions Gate $1.6 543 $2,868 13 $19.7 16 IN THE BEDROOM Miramax $1.3 688 $1,876 18 $34.2 17 DRAGONFLY Universal $0.8 736 $1,070 5 $29.5 18 MONSOON WEDDING USA Films $0.7 128 $5,834 5 $3.2 19 RETURN TO NEVER LAND Disney $0.7 1,004 $709 6 $46.5 20 IRIS Miramax $0.6 204 $2,795 15 $3.9

SOURCE: ACNIELSEN EDI, INC. WEEKEND OF MARCH 22-24 *WEEKEND GROSS AND GROSS-TO-DATE FIGURES IN MILLIONS [1]INCLUDES SOME MULTISCREEN THEATERS AND PRINTS SHIPPED AS WELL AS INDIVIDUAL SCREENS

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