''Swimfan'' debuts at No. 1 at the box office. The teen ''Fatal Attraction'' rakes in $12.4 million its opening weekend, besting ''Greek Wedding'' and ''City by the Sea''

By Dave Karger
September 09, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT
Swimfan: Gene Page

Who’s got more box office mojo than a Greek wedding and Robert De Niro? A sexy teen stalker, not surprisingly.

In its first three days of release, the thriller ”Swimfan” became the No. 1 movie this weekend, earning a respectable $12.4 million, according to studio estimates. While some prognosticators expected ”My Big Fat Greek Wedding” to finally score the top spot, others (like EW.com, pardon the shameless plug) predicted that ”Swimfan,” with its young ”Fatal Attraction” hook, would score enough back-to-school teens to emerge victorious. Instead, ”Wedding,” in its 21st week, maintained its hold on second place with another $10.6 million, bringing its total to an incredible $96 million. Expect ”Wedding” to pass the $100 million mark by next weekend.

The week’s other new wide release, ”City by the Sea,” premiered in third place with $9.1 million. Despite the presence of two powerhouse actors, Robert De Niro and Frances McDormand, the crime drama failed to entice big audiences, resulting in an opening weekend tally even lower than De Niro’s recent ”15 Minutes” with Edward Burns, which debuted with $10.5 million. Still, De Niro’s loyal fan base ensured that ”Sea” wasn’t a ”Pluto Nash”-size disaster.

Rounding out the top five were hits ”Signs,” which grossed another $8 million, and ”XXX,” which managed another $5.5 million. ”Signs” hit the $200 million mark on Friday, while ”XXX”’s total now stands at $131 million. Meanwhile, the newly repackaged ”Spider-Man” and ”Men in Black II” double feature rang up $2 million from people who didn’t find any of the recent releases appealing at all.

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