''S.W.A.T.'' makes its mark at No. 1 -- The action flick debuts with $37 million over three days, while ''Gigli'' hits the record books (and not in a good way)

By Dave Karger
Updated August 08, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT
LL Cool J, Colin Farrell, ...
Credit: S.W.A.T.: Merrick Morton
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Instead of ”S.W.A.T.,” make that ”H.I.T.” The movie version of the old action TV show topped the box office this weekend with an impressive $37 million, according to studio estimates.

Credit ”S.W.A.T.”’s strong opening to its fantastic cast (including Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Farrell) and a lack of many non-sequel options this summer. In fact, ”S.W.A.T.” debuted with almost the same figure as ”Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,” which opened with $37.6 million earlier this summer.

Also premiering this weekend was the remake of ”Freaky Friday,” starring Jamie Lee Curtis, which grossed $22.3 million over the weekend and $33.2 since opening on Wednesday. Young girls and their families were drawn by the cute concept and positive reviews, resulting in an improvement on the $17.3 million ”The Lizzie McGuire Movie” grossed in its first weekend back in May. Good word-of-mouth should keep ”Friday” in the top five for a couple more weeks.

Third place went to last week’s No. 1, ”American Wedding,” which fell an expected 55 percent to $15.1 million, bringing its 10-day total to $64.9 million. ”Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” was close behind with $13.1 million, down only 31 percent. After five weeks, its total now stands at an amazing $232.8 million and shows no sign of slowing down. And ”Seabiscuit” also held on nicely, slipping 32 percent to $11.9 million in its third week. The horseracing drama has earned $69.5 after three weeks.

As for everyone’s favorite punching bag, ”Gigli”? The Jennifer Lopez/Ben Affleck bomb suffered the biggest second-weekend drop of all time, plummeting an absolutely ridiculous 83 percent to $600,000 despite playing in the same number of theaters as last weekend. Its per-theater average for the weekend was a laughable $288. (That’s 288 DOLLARS.) After 10 days, ”Gigli” has earned $5.6 million, roughly one-fifth of the couple’s combined $25 million salary. An episode of ”Baywatch” would probably fare better.

American Wedding

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