Uma Thurman's instant-classic Bride character didn't just kill Bill this weekend; she killed her box office competition too.
''Kill Bill -- Vol. 2'' grossed an impressive $25.6 million in its first three days, according to studio estimates. That's 16 percent higher than the $22.1 million ''Vol. 1'' earned last fall. Terrific reviews combined with high audience expectations fueled the debut. The coming weeks will tell whether the sequel can top the $69.9 million take of the original.
Second place, as expected, went to ''The Punisher,'' the comic-book-based thriller starring Thomas Jane, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, and John Travolta, with $14 million. That's considerably lower than the $23.2 million debut of ''Hellboy'' two weeks ago. Could audiences be tiring of these comic-book flicks? With ''Spider-Man 2'' less than three months away, don't count on it.
Cedric the Entertainer's ''Johnson Family Vacation'' saw one of the smallest drops of the week, slipping only 32 percent to $6.4 million in its second weekend. ''Hellboy'' and ''Home on the Range'' completed the top five with $5.7 million and $5.4 million, respectively. And the weekend was quite a drag for Nia Vardalos, whose follow-up to ''My Big Fat Greek Wedding,'' ''Connie and Carla,'' opened way down in 13th place with $3.3 million, thanks to a per-theater gross of only $3,210.