''Two Towers'' beats dueling Leos at the box office -- The ''Lord of the Rings'' centerpiece passes the $200 million mark after 10 days, while DiCaprio's ''Gangs'' and ''Catch'' can't catch up

Orlando Bloom, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Credit: Lord of the RIngs The Two Towers: Pierre Vinet

Conan O’Brien joked last week that the audience of ”The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” consisted of one-third 28-year-old men and two-thirds their parents who drove them. But the hobbitheads got the last laugh this weekend as ”Two Towers” passed the $200 million mark after 10 days in theaters and enjoyed its second weekend on top of the box office with a $48.9 million post-Christmas take, according to industry estimates.

The Middle-earthlings outdistanced what was supposed to be the weekend’s big showdown: Leonardo DiCaprio vs. Leonardo DiCaprio. The actor’s comic crime caper ”Catch Me if You Can,” directed by Steven Spielberg, came in at no. 2 with a $30 million weekend, for a total of $48.6 million since it opened on Wednesday. His other film, the long-awaited Martin Scorsese-led ”Gangs of New York,” finished at No. 5, with $11.2 million for the weekend and an overall take of just $30.1 million since it opened 10 days ago.

Romantic comedy fans continued to line up for ”Two Weeks Notice” and ”Maid in Manhattan.” The Sandra Bullock-Hugh Grant entry overtook the Jennifer Lopez-Ralph Fiennes movie for a third place finish, with $16.1 million, over ”Maid”’s fourth-place take of $13 million.

The weekend’s other prominent wide release, Roberto Benigni’s live-action, dubbed-from-Italian ”Pinocchio,” could string together only $1.1 million in sales ($1.8 million since its Christmas Day opening). So it missed the Top 10 by more than a nose.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 179 minutes
  • Peter Jackson