''XXX'' surfs past ''Crush'' for second week on top. The Vin Diesel thriller fuels a record year for Sony Pictures, while the surfer-chick flick debuts at No. 3

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Vin Diesel, XXX
Credit: XXX: Columbia Pictures

Vin Diesel’s ”XXX” sportsman-turned-spy has a shaved head and an illustrated frame; turns out he has pretty strong legs, too. ”XXX” held on to the top spot at the box office for a second straight week. An expected neck-and-tattooed-neck challenge from surfer-chick movie ”Blue Crush” never materialized, and the Diesel-powered thriller easily walked away with an estimated $23 million (a drop of less than 50 percent from last week’s opening), for a total of $84.9 million in its first 10 days.

What’s more, Diesel’s success has fueled a record-breaking year for Sony Pictures. The studio reported it has earned $1.29 billion so far in 2002, thanks to such hits as ”XXX,” ”Spider-Man,” ”Men in Black II,” ”Mr. Deeds,” and ”Panic Room.” That beats the $1.27 billion the studio earned in 1997 (the year of ”Air Force One” and the first ”Men in Black”), and after less than eight months.

Despite its lack of star power or testosterone, ”Blue Crush” surfed a wave of hype and strong reviews and drew young guys with its action and bikinis, not to mention young female viewers with its girl-power storyline. The movie had to settle for a third-place opening and a $15.2 million take — not the splash Universal was hoping for, but hardly a wipeout for the $25 million film.

Other current top five hits held on well, with losses of about a third each from last week. ”Signs” held on to second place with $19.5 million, still enough to run crop circles around ”Blue Crush.” (In just 17 days, ”Signs” has earned $150.7 million.) ”Spy Kids 2” earned an $11.6 million take and a fourth-place finish. Even four-week-old ”Austin Powers in Goldmember” was still holding up, landing at No. 5 with a foxxy $8.7 million.

And of course, all of these movies did better than Eddie Murphy’s long-shelved lunar comedy, ”The Adventures of Pluto Nash.” The movie squeaked into the top 10, cratering at $2.2 million for a No. 10 opening. The movie, which cost a reported $90 million, takes place in the year 2087; at this rate, that’s about when it should break even.

Austin Powers in Goldmember

type
  • Movie
genre
mpaa
  • PG-13
runtime
  • 94 minutes
director
  • Jay Roach

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