''U-571'' stays afloat while ''Where the Heart Is'' sinks
Plus, the new Flintstones movie is big with kids, but ''Frequency'' may be a sleeper hit
Three new releases couldn’t send ”U-571” sinking in the box office this weekend. The Matthew McConaughey submarine film held strong at No. 1 for the second week with $12.3 million, bringing the WWII drama’s total earnings to $38.2 million. In its wake, ”The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas” took second place, with $10.8 million. That number is a far cry from the $29.7 million opening weekend for 1994’s ”The Flintstones,” but was still impressive considering the movie’s B-list stars and harsh critical reception.
Another debut, Dennis Quaid’s time-travel chiller ”Frequency” took third place with $9.1 million, while ”Where the Heart Is” opened in fourth with a lower-than-expected $8.3 million. The rest of the top 10 was a sea of familiar faces. ”Love & Basketball” fell from second place to fifth, with $5.5 million; ”Rules of Engagement” slipped to sixth place, with $4.8 million; and ”Keeping the Faith” brought in $4.6 million for seventh place. Two new movies in limited release didn’t crack the top 10 but fared surprisingly well. Mike Figgis’ experimental split-screen film ”Time Code” brought in $95,000 in seven theaters, averaging a healthy $13,571 per screen. Kevin Spacey’s ”The Big Kahuna” made $88,000 in eight theaters for an $11,000 average.
CRITICAL MASS Though ”Viva Rock Vegas” stole second place away from ”Frequency” this weekend, it may have a tough time holding onto its lead if parents have anything to say about it. In our Critical Mass online readers poll, viewers under 29 gave the caveman comedy a warm A-, but those between 30 and 39 panned the movie with an F. It isn’t likely disgruntled moms and dads will listen when the kids beg to see it again, either, since 50 percent of viewers responded that they were very unlikely to sit through a second viewing.
”Frequency,” however, was a hit with almost all of those who responded to our poll, earning an A- overall. A whopping 74 percent admitted the movie was better than they expected, and 70 percent said they would recommend it to their friends. Of course, if ”Frequency” is a sleeper hit, brace yourself for more father-son/time-travel/ham radio movies this time next year.
To vote on these and other current movies, visit the EW Online Critical Mass Movie Poll.