It was a mouse of a weekend, all right. In one of the disappointing box office weekends of the year, both ”Stuart Little 2” and ”K-19: The Widowmaker” performed far below expectations, resulting in a most unusual outcome: a tie.
”Stuart Little” and Tom Hanks’ returning drama ”Road to Perdition” grossed $15.6 million, according to studio estimates. For ”Road,” it’s a nice figure, meaning the film about a hitman who goes on the run with his son fell only 29 percent from its debut last week. But for ”Stuart,” it’s a poor performance, considering the original film earned almost that much ($15 million) three years ago. (Usually, sequels perform considerably better in their first weekend.) ”Stuart” will need fantastic word of mouth to recoup its approximately $120 million budget.
Close behind at No. 3 was ”Men in Black II,” which earned another $15 million in its third weekend, bringing its total to $158.6 million. Though a good showing, ”MIBII” is still lagging behind the 1997 original.
But at least it performed better than ”K-19.” Harrison Ford’s poorly reviewed Russian submarine thriller brought in only $13.1 million in its opening weekend, marking one of the actor’s worst debuts ever. (His romantic drama ”Random Hearts” grossed $13 million back in 1999.) Perhaps moviegoers simply weren’t interested in seeing the actor the New York Times called the face of America play a Russian. Whatever the case, it’s a horrible debut for a film that reportedly cost $100 million to make. (In other words, Ford, who signed a back-end deal on the film, shouldn’t hold his breath for a check.)
With Adam Sandler’s ”Mr. Deeds” holding steady at No. 5 with $7.3 million, the week’s other new release, the horror comedy ”Eight Legged Freaks,” could only manage a seventh-place opening with $6.7 million over the three-day weekend and $9.3 million since it premiered last Wednesday. Needless to say, the filmmakers were certainly hoping for more than just over one million dollars per leg.