Date: 16th October 2000

Parental Control

If it hadn't already set a box-office record for October when it opened last week, Universal's Meet the Parents would have set a record this past weekend. It earned an estimated $21.3 million, well above the previous October record of $17.2 million set by DreamWorks' Antz in 1998.

Disney's Remember the Titans remained in second place with $13.5 million. New Line's horror film Lost Souls, which had been shelved for two years, opened in third place with $8.4 million. But the rest of a relatively large slate of new releases performed sluggishly.

Paramount's The Ladies Man, starring Saturday Night Live's Tim Meadows, took in only $5.7 million. DreamWorks' The Contender was not much of one with only $5.5 million. And Artisan's Dr. T & the Women managed to eke out only $5.2 million.

Although the box office was up 6.5 percent over the same weekend a year ago, analysts weren't much impressed. "The fact that this weekend was better than a year ago shows the year-earlier (period) wasn't very good," entertainment analyst Art Rockwell told Bloomberg News Sunday.

Particularly disappointing was the performance of Cameron Crowe's critically praised Almost Famous, which had been rolling out slowly but reached 2,262 screens last weekend. It earned only $2.3 million.

The most promising debut was made by the British film Billy Elliot, which managed to sell out theaters in 10 locations, earning $220,000. Its $22,000 average was nearly three times greater than that of Meet the Parents.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:

1. Meet the Parents, $21.3 million; 2. Remember the Titans, $13.5 million; 3. Lost Souls, $8.4 million; 4. The Ladies Man, $5.7 million; 5. The Contender, $5.5 million; 6. The Exorcist, $5.4 million; 7. Dr. T and the Women, $5.2 million; 8. Get Carter, $2.7 million; 9 (tie). Almost Famous, $2.3 million; 9 (tie). Best in Show, $2.3 million.

Source: Studio Briefing