''Just Married'' takes No. 1 spot at the box office. The Ashton Kutcher-Brittany Murphy comedy topples ''The Two Towers,'' bringing in a surprising $18 million its first week

By Dave Karger
Updated January 13, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST
Just Married: Tracy Bennet
  • Movie

Talk about a honeymoon period. In its first weekend, the newlywed comedy ”Just Married” topped the box office with a surprising $18 million, displacing ”The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” according to studio estimates.

”Married,” starring Ashton Kutcher (”That ’70s Show”) and Brittany Murphy (”8 Mile”), surpassed the debut of Kutcher’s last comedy, the unexpected hit ”Dude, Where’s My Car?,” which premiered with $13.8 million in December. Apparently, many young moviegoers had already seen ”Two Towers” multiple times and wanted something different. Also, with two strong performing films in a row, Kutcher is certainly emerging as a new box office draw.

Slipping one slot to No. 2 was ”The Two Towers,” which dropped an expected 40 percent in its fourth week to $15 million. Its total now stands at an incredible $283.6 million, making it No. 17 on the all-time top grossers list, in between ”Home Alone” and ”Shrek.” Very close behind was ”Catch Me if You Can,” with $14.8 million in its third week, pushing its cumulative total up to $119.7 million.

Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant’s romance ”Two Weeks Notice” is still hanging on, down 40 percent to $6.7 million, while Jack Nicholson’s ”About Schmidt” rounded out the top five with $6.3 million. That meant Denzel Washington’s directorial debut, ”Antwone Fisher,” placed outside the top five despite expanding to around 1,000 theaters. It landed at No. 9 with only $3.8 million. Where were those Golden Globe nominations when he needed them?

About Schmidt

  • Movie
  • R
  • 124 minutes
  • Alexander Payne