The graphic Ridley Scott war drama is battling for an Oscar nod, while the rest of the top 10 is populated by romance (''Walk''), comedy (''Dogs''), and suspense (''Mothman'')
Ewan McGregor, Black Hawk Down

Is ”Black Hawk Down” charging its way to a Best Picture nomination?

The Oscar case for the brutal Ridley Scott war drama was certainly helped at the box office this weekend, as it held off four new releases to top the charts for the second week in a row. Falling a respectable 36 percent from its $28.6 million wide debut, ”Black Hawk” grossed another $18.2 million, bringing its 10-day total to $60 million, easily besting the five other films that broke $10 million over the weekend.

According to studio estimates, second place is a tie between two films: ”Snow Dogs” and ”A Walk to Remember.” The former, a family comedy starring Cuba Gooding Jr., held on amazingly in its second weekend, dropping only 24 percent to $13.6 million, the same amount earned by ”Walk,” a high school drama starring pop singer Mandy Moore. Perhaps female crooners have better box office draw — considering that ‘N Syncer Lance Bass’ big screen romance, ”On the Line,” opened last October with a dismal $2.3. That theory will be tested next month, when ”Crossroads,” next month’s road trip drama starring Britney Spears, debuts.

The next three finishers were also neck and neck (and neck): Estimates place the new Richard Gere/Laura Linney thriller ”The Mothman Prophecies” at No. 4 with an okay $11.8 million, just barely topping the opening of Gere’s last film, the romance ”Autumn in New York,” which premiered with $11 million. ”Mothman” will have to achieve better word of mouth to avoid becoming a flop like ”Autumn.”

Fifth place looks to go to last week’s big Golden Globe winner, ”A Beautiful Mind,” with another $11.7 million, barely beating the new entry ”The Count of Monte Cristo,” which opened with $11.5 million. The week’s best per-theater performer was Sean Penn’s drama ”I Am Sam,” which managed to gross $8.3 million at only 1,268 theaters.

The news wasn’t so good for the martial-arts spoof ”Kung Pow!: Enter the Fist,” which, despite boasting the widest opening of the week’s new movies, barely cracked the top 10 with $7.3 million. At a time when moviegoers are flocking to the ultrarealistic ”Black Hawk Down,” maybe they just don’t find fighting funny.

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A Beautiful Mind
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