By EW Staff
Updated October 25, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

FLOOD GATES

It’s raining movies! Theaters this weekend were flooded with more than a dozen new releases. Brown Sugar topped all freshmen with an impressive $7,827 per-venue debut (keeping Fox Searchlight’s recent hit streak alive), but the real story this frame came from two rising auteurs: The bows of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love and Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine were off the charts — literally, in this case, since neither film opened in enough theaters to crack the top 20. Still, at No. 23, Anderson’s Adam Sandler vehicle earned an astonishing $73,441 per theater, while Moore’s antigun doc rang up a smokin’ $26,144 per venue.

TOP 20 WEEKEND NO. OF WEEKEND WEEKS GROSS GROSS* SITES[1] PER-SITE IN TO AVERAGE RELEASE DATE

1 RED DRAGON Universal $17.7 3,363 $5,250 2 $63.3 2 SWEET HOME ALABAMA Touchstone $14.3 3,313 $4,305 3 $84.7 3 BROWN SUGAR Fox Searchlight $10.7 1,372 $7,827 1 $10.7 4 THE TRANSPORTER 20th Century Fox $9.1 2,573 $3,540 1 $9.1 5 MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING IFC $8.5 2,016 $4,193 26 $159.0 6 THE TUXEDO DreamWorks $7.0 2,985 $2,361 3 $37.0 7 WHITE OLEANDER Warner Bros. $5.6 1,510 $3,714 1 $5.6 8 TUCK EVERLASTING Disney $5.3 1,185 $4,446 1 $5.3 9 KNOCKAROUND GUYS New Line $5.0 1,806 $2,778 1 $5.0 10 BARBERSHOP MGM $4.0 1,911 $2,102 5 $65.4 11 JONAH: A VEGGIETALES MOVIE Artisan $3.7 1,174 $3,120 2 $11.0 12 THE RULES OF ATTRACTION Lions Gate $2.5 1,437 $1,762 1 $2.5 13 THE BANGER SISTERS Fox Searchlight $1.7 1,596 $1,060 4 $27.3 14 MOONLIGHT MILE Touchstone $1.1 437 $2,563 3 $4.0 15 THE FOUR FEATHERS Paramount/Miramax $1.0 1,281 $749 4 $17.2 16 SIGNS Touchstone $0.8 802 $1,000 11 $224.6 17 ONE HOUR PHOTO Fox Searchlight $0.7 654 $1,133 8 $30.1 18 POKEMON 4EVER Miramax $0.7 249 $2,880 1 $0.7 19 SPIRITED AWAY Disney $0.6 138 $4,601 4 $2.7 20 SPY KIDS 2: THE ISLAND OF LOST DREAMS Dimension $0.6 888 $636 10 $84.0

SOURCE: NIELSEN EDI. WEEKEND OF OCT. 11-13 *WEEKEND GROSS AND GROSS-TO-DATE FIGURES IN MILLIONS [1]INCLUDES SOME MULTISCREEN THEATERS AND PRINTS SHIPPED AS WELL AS INDIVIDUAL SCREENS

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