This past weekend was the calm before the Oscar-hungry storm — the serious Academy Award-hopeful heavy-hitters begin opening next Friday, led by ”The Green Mile.” No new films opened widely, and the top 4 ranked films remained the same as in the previous week. First came ”Toy Story 2,” which added another $27.8 million, bringing its 12-day total to $116.8 million.
The film broke the $100 million mark on Saturday, matching the pace of ”The Lion King,” which also hit that monetary landmark on its 11th day of release. And seeing as ”Lion King” went on to gross $312 million, Oscars are probably a secondary concern to Disney’s accountants right now.
Meanwhile, it’s questionable whether Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comeback film, ”End of Days” will EVER hit the $100 million mark: This week it landed in third with $9.6 million (after ”The World Is Not Enough” with $10.7 million), bringing its total to $45.8 million. Rounding out the top 5 were ”Sleepy Hollow” with $8.9 million and ”The Bone Collector” with $3.2 million.
Two new movies opened in limited release, preventing them from reaching the Top 10. Ralph Fiennes’ ”The End of the Affair” — which opened in seven theaters largely to qualify for Oscar consideration (and will expand nationally in January) — took in an estimated $203,000, giving it a healthy $29,000 per-screen average. And Woody Allen’s ”Sweet and Lowdown” raked in $102,000 in three New York theaters, for a $34,000 average. A promising start, yes, but keep in mind that Woody doesn’t play as well outside of his home town as a bunch of toys does.
CRITICAL MASS EW Online readers remained fans of ”Toy Story 2,” giving it an A average. Interestingly enough, this G-rated cartoon appealed slightly more to adults: Those over age 30 gave it an A, while those 29 and under stuck with a more conservative A-. ”The World is Not Enough” and ”Sleepy Hollow” earned B and B+ averages, respectively, while ”End of Days” dropped from a B- to a C+ on deteriorating word of mouth. To register your own opinions on these and other current movies, vote in EW Critical Mass Online.