But ''Reindeer Games'' and ''Wonder Boys'' finish lower than hoped

By Josh Wolk
Updated February 28, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST

The Whole Nine Yards

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Break out the ”It’s a hit!” puns for the Bruce Willis assassin comedy ”The Whole Nine Yards”: It came in first for the second week in a row, adding another $9.6 million (estimated). And while you’re making publicity wordplay, throw in a ”’Snow Day’ is having a ball… a snowball!” The Nickelodeon kiddie film landed in second place in its third week, taking in another $8.5 million, defying all critics and everyone who made Chevy Chase’s talk show the very definition of ”anti-hit.”

This weekend’s debut films, however, didn’t prove as pun worthy. Miramax’s attempted blockbuster ”Reindeer Games” was just semi-deer to people’s hearts, opening in third place with $8 million. And ”Wonder Boys” wasn’t entirely wonderful, entering the charts in seventh place with $5.9 million. However, the Michael Douglas comedy opened in some 1,700 fewer theaters than ”Nine Yards” did and had a higher per-screen average ($4,669) than the Willis film ($3,299). So the tally, like Douglas’ fiancée, is still young.

CRITICAL MASS Forget the days of ”Last Man Standing” and ”Mercury Rising”: Bruce Willis is once again a box office draw. At least he is according to EW readers who voted in our Critical Mass Movie Poll, 53 percent of whom said they went to ”The Whole Nine Yards” because of its stars. (The film got an overall B grade.)

Sure, they could have been talking about Matthew Perry, but considering that his last movie was the unseen ”Three to Tango” and Willis’ was ”The Sixth Sense,” it’s fair to give Bruce the credit. Meanwhile, stars weren’t quite as successful as selling points for the weekend’s two major openings, with only 40 percent of ”Reindeer Games” attendees picking the headliners as their incentive to attend (and giving it a B-), and 32 percent saying the same for ”Wonder Boys” (which got a B+). Ben Affleck and Michael Douglas might want to start seeing dead people, and fast.

To vote on these and other current movies, visit EW Critical Mass Movie Poll.

Episode Recaps

The Whole Nine Yards

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  • 97 minutes