Coach Carter came off the bench to become the number one film in the country this weekend, premiering with $23.6 million, according to studio estimates. The true-life basketball drama, about a high school coach, played by Samuel L. Jackson, who sidelined his star players as punishment for bad grades, easily topped Meet the Fockers and three other new wide releases.
After three weeks at the top spot, Fockers slipped 33 percent to $19 million, bringing its 4-week total to a fantastic $230.8 million. It’s now the sixth highest grossing release of 2004 and the No. 43 all-time domestic grosser.
The family comedy Racing Stripes, featuring Frankie Muniz and Dustin Hoffman, placed third with $14 million, while the office comedy In Good Company, starring Dennis Quaid and Topher Grace, was right behind with $13.9 million.
The disappointment of the weekend has to be Elektra, the Daredevil spinoff starring Jennifer Garner, which debuted in fifth place with only $12.5 million, despite playing in twice as many theaters as In Good Company. Since Garner does the butt-kicking thing on TV, perhaps audiences think she should stick to romantic comedies on the big screen.