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.