''Kill Bill'' left its box office competition for dead. Dave Karger says Quentin Tarantino's kung-fu flick took the top spot

By Dave Karger
October 13, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Get ready for the puns: “Kill Bill — Vol. 1” slayed its rivals at the box office this weekend, premiering with $22.7 million, according to studio estimates.

Action fans came out in full force for the Quentin Tarantino samurai flick, starring Uma Thurman and Lucy Liu. Its R rating kept some younger fans out of the theaters, but ‘Bill”’s take is right in line with two other recent R-rated hits released in October: last year’s “Jackass: The Movie,” which opened with $22.8 million, and 2001’s “Training Day,” which premiered with $22.6 million.

Last week’s top film, “The School of Rock,” added over 300 theaters, resulting in a tiny 22 percent drop to $15.4 million in its second weekend. The Jack Black comedy has grossed $39.6 million after 10 days. That also put it ahead of two other new releases. The George Clooney/Catherine Zeta-Jones comedy “Intolerable Cruelty” debuted with $13.1 million (after three days, it’s already almost outgrossed Clooney’s last two films, “Solaris” and “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”), while the family comedy “Good Boy!” featuring the voice of Matthew Broderick was close behind with $13 million.

Denzel Washington’s thriller “Out of Time” dropped 47 percent to $8.6 million, keeping the final new release, the horror thriller “The House of the Dead,” out of the top five. Instead, “Dead” could only scare up $5.5 million, placing sixth. In other words, nothing to scream about.