”The Wedding Planner” topped the box office for a second weekend in a row, with $10.6 million in estimated earnings. Analysts had predicted a tough battle between the super sweet romantic comedy and the gloriously gory slasher film ”Valentine,” which opened at No. 2 with $10 million. The R rated Denise Richards/ David Boreanaz flick may have been helped by the teen crowd — even if theater owners effectively barred those under 17 from buying tickets. ”If kids want to see a movie, they find a way to see it,” says Robert Bucksbaum of tracking firm Reel Source.
The more wholesome ”Cast Away” (No. 3, $7.5 million) has now ridden its Golden Globe win to a tsunami size $203 million since its release in December, making it the first film to surpass the second century mark in 2001. The Julia Stiles teen romance ”Save the Last Dance” ($7.2 million, No. 4) and the Chinese language martial arts romance ”Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” ($6.8 million, No. 5) rounded out the top five.
CRITICAL MASS What keeps Lopez atop the movie chart despite ”The Wedding Planner”’s tepid reviews? The film earned a mediocre C+ from EW.com readers — only slightly better than the critics’ disparaging average of C-. Moreover, only 40 percent of voters plan to recommend it to others. But with Lopez’s album ”J.Lo” rooted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, and her face on the cover of Rolling Stone and numerous TV shows, it’s hard for people to forget her. Indeed, 43 percent of EW.com readers say they saw the movie for the cross media queen.
Star power also helped ”Valentine” make a splashy opening. A significant 42 percent of EW.com readers say they saw the movie for its sexy stars — Boreanaz of television’s ”Angel” and ”The World Is Not Enough”’s Richards. But voters were none too pleased with the sex and violence flick. They gave it a ho hum grade of C, which looks good only when compared to the critics’ average of D. However, it’s doubtful that too many horror fans will even remember ”Valentine” next week. When ”Hannibal” enters the market, he’ll be eating Richards and Boreanaz for lunch.