Being told the central plot twist in the ads didn’t stop audiences from running to ”Double Jeopardy”: The Ashley Judd/Tommy Lee Jones thriller handily took the top spot with an estimated $23.7 million in its opening weekend. But that was the only good news for new releases.
Life wasn’t beautiful for Robin Williams, whose Holocaust drama ”Jakob the Liar” debuted at No. 8 with a meager $2.2 million. (And to add insult to Williams’ injury, ”Mrs. Doubtfire” was bumped off the Top-20-grossers-of-all-time list by ”Sixth Sense,” which hit $225.1 million this weekend and took the cross-dressing comedy’s place at No. 20.) But at least ”Jakob” beat out ”Mumford,” which limped out of the gate with only $2.0 million, landing in ninth place despite overwhelmingly favorable reviews.
For the second week in a row, however, there’s been a surprising success brewing underneath the high-profile movies. ”American Beauty” extended its limited release to 429 theaters last weekend, which was enough to earn it $6 million and land it in fifth place. (After ”Blue Streak” – $13.2 million, ”The Sixth Sense” – $8.5 million, and ”For Love of the Game” – $6.6 million.)
Considering that all the films that ranked above it were playing at more than 2,500 theaters, ”Beauty” is a good bet to hit the No. 1 spot when it too goes wide on Friday.