Dave Karger
July 17, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The King of July has returned. Will Smith’s ”I, Robot” slaughtered the competition this weekend, premiering with a strong $52.3 million, according to studio estimates. One year ago this exact weekend, Smith’s “Bad Boys II” claimed the top spot with $46.5 million, and in previous years he’s ruled the July multiplexes with “Independence Day” and both “Men in Black” films.

Meanwhile, after owning the pole position for the last two weeks, “Spider-Man 2” slipped 46 percent to $24.2 million. After 19 days, the mega-sequel has grossed $301.7 million, taking one more day to cross the $300 mark than the record-holder, “Shrek 2.”

The weekend’s other new wide release, Hilary Duff’s “A Cinderella Story,” placed third with a decent $13.8 million. That’s a bit less than the $17.3 million debut of Duff’s last starring vehicle, “The Lizzie McGuire Movie,” in May 2003.

Rounding out the top five were “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” which fell 53 percent in its second week to $13.4 million, and “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which slipped 37 percent to $7 million for a four-week total of $93.8 million. In the coming week, look for Michael Moore’s controversial film to become the first $100 million-grossing documentary ever.

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