Spike Lee ought to think about casting Denzel Washington in all of his movies. Boosted by the star power of Washington, Jodie Foster, and Clive Owen, Lee's bank-heist thriller Inside Man topped the box office chart with a strong $28.9 million, according to studio estimates.
That more than doubled Lee's previous top debut, The Original Kings of Comedy, which grossed $11.1 million (though it played in fewer than 900 theaters). It also counts as Washington's career-best opening, beating Man on Fire's $22.8 million take. But it fell just short of Foster's top debut, which remains Panic Room, with $30.1 million.
Second place went to V for Vendetta, which dropped 52 percent to $12.3 million in its second weekend, while the new horror flick Stay Alive placed third with $11.2 million.
Rounding out the top five were Failure to Launch and The Shaggy Dog with $10.8 million and $9.1 million, respectively, leaving the weekend's other new wide release, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, to open in seventh place with only $7 million. Even Deuce Biglow: European Gigolo managed a better opening than that.