Box Office Report

Safe 'Return'

The holiday weekend finds little change at the box office. Thanks to no newcomers the movies keep their position from the previous weekend

Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, ... | TWO TOWERS ''LOTR'''s Mortensen and McKellen keep their healthy lead at multiplexes
Image credit: The Lord of the Ring: The Return of the King: Pierre Vinet
TWO TOWERS ''LOTR'''s Mortensen and McKellen keep their healthy lead at multiplexes

Lack of competition can be a beautiful thing. That's what the five top movies learned this weekend, as they easily held their ground thanks to a complete lack of new wide releases.

Topping the box office chart for the third week, ''The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King'' slipped 39 percent to $30.8 million, according to studio estimates—bringing its total to a staggering $292 million. It's already in the top 20 biggest grossers of all time and will handily beat ''Finding Nemo'' as the No. 1 film released in 2003.

Second place again went to Steve Martin's comedy ''Cheaper by the Dozen,'' which fell only 21 percent in its second week to $21.9 million. In only 11 days it's earned $86 million and will certainly become Martin's second $130-million-grossing film of the year, after last spring's ''Bringing Down the House.'' Too bad that ''Looney Tunes'' movie flopped; he could've had a hat trick.

Riding a wave of word of mouth, the adult romance ''Something's Gotta Give'' rose a place with a fantastic 10 percent drop to $12.5 million, swapping places with the epic drama ''Cold Mountain,'' which slid only 20 percent to $11.7 million. And Ben Affleck's action drama ''Paycheck'' held on nicely with $10 million, down 26 percent. Let's hope Mandy Moore, with her romance ''Chasing Liberty,'' will shake things up next weekend.

Originally posted Jan 04, 2004