''Hero'' opens at No. 1 | EW.com


''Hero'' opens at No. 1

Jet Li is the weekend's box office ''Hero'' -- The action thriller earns $17.8 million, making it the second No. 1 foreign-language movie this year

Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, ...

”Hero” lived up to its name at the box office this weekend, claiming the top spot to become the second No. 1 foreign-language film of the year.

Six months after the debut of ”The Passion of the Christ,” which was in Latin and Aramaic, Jet Li’s action thriller premiered with $17.8 million domestically, after a mega-successful international run in 2002. ”Hero”’s tally, however, was lower than the $18.1 million of last week’s top film, ”Exorcist: The Beginning.”

The sequel ”Anacondas: Hunt for the Blood Orchid” had to settle for second place despite opening in almost 1,000 more theaters than ”Hero.” ”Anacondas”’ $13.2 million gross is a bit lower than the $16.6 million debut of the original, which starred Jennifer Lopez, in 1997.

The goofy comedy ”Without a Paddle” slipped a surprisingly low 36 percent from its debut last weekend, placing third with $8.7 million, while ”The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement” dropped 38 percent to $8.1 million. Meanwhile, ”Exorcist” plummeted 63 percent to only $6.7 million in its second weekend.

The week’s two other new wide releases tanked: The thriller ”Suspect Zero” grossed $3.4 million (10th place), while the sequel ”Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2” placed 11th, with $3.3 million. Maybe they should have dubbed their dialogue into Chinese.