''Ocean's Eleven'' topples ''Harry Potter''
It comes out to about $3.5 million per thief.
The bank robbers of ”Ocean’s Eleven,” led by George Clooney and Brad Pitt, broke away with an amazing $39.3 million at the box office this weekend, shattering the December record held by Mel Gibson’s romantic comedy ”What Women Want,” which premiered with $33.6 last year.
The combined star power of Clooney, Pitt, and Julia Roberts, along with a teen-friendly PG-13 rating and no competition led to the impressive take, which also marks the best openings ever for Pitt (beating ”Interview with the Vampire”’s $36.4 million) and even Roberts (ahead of ”The Runaway Bride”’s $35.1 million). It stands only as the third best debut for Clooney, however, behind ”Batman Forever” and ”The Perfect Storm,” both of which broke $40 million in their opening weekends.
”Eleven”’s big numbers pushed the blockbuster ”Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” to second place, with $14.8 million in its fourth weekend, bringing its total to $239.7 million. The family hit was down an encouraging 37 percent from last weekend. It will need some more good holds along with a strong Christmas week performance to break $400 domestically, though it’s already hit that mark worldwide. Perhaps the only encouragement for ”Potter” studio Warner Bros. is that the movie that knocked the wizard out of No. 1 is from Warners as well.
One film that did have a large dropoff this week was the war thriller ”Behind Enemy Lines,” which plummeted 57 percent from its $18.7 million debut. Its $8.1 million take this weekend brings its 10-day total to $31.2 million. Rather than see the Gene Hackman drama again, battle-hungry fans might be waiting for Ridley Scott’s ”Black Hawk Down” instead.
Rounding out the top five were ”Monsters, Inc.,” which dropped only 27 percent to $6.7 million, thanks to its well-advertised ”bloopers” Disney added to the end of the film, and the Robert Redford/Brad Pitt’s CIA thriller ”Spy Game,” which was off a frightening 58 percent to $4.6 million. Hey Universal: Get your hands on some Redford dialogue flubs, quick!