Monday, November 10, 2003

'Revolutions' fails to spark record crowds

By David Germain
The Associated Press

The sci-fi Matrix saga lost some of its spin at the U.S. box office, with The Matrix Revolutions pulling in $50.16 million in its opening weekend - off 45 percent from the previous chapter's weekend debut.

Revolutions, pummeled by critics as harshly as The Matrix Reloaded was last May, has grossed $85.5 million domestically since Wednesday. While the numbers are high, they are still down from Reloaded, which had a $91.8 million weekend debut and took in $134.2 million over its first four days.

Warner Bros. preferred to focus on the worldwide results for "Revolutions." Warner opened the movie simultaneously in a record 109 countries, where it racked up a worldwide total of $204.1 million in five days, beating the previous global high of about $200 million for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

Will Ferrell's Christmas comedy Elf, opened strongly in second place with $32.1 million domestically. In narrower release, the romantic comedy Love Actually had a healthy debut with $6.6 million, coming in at No. 6.

Despite the domestic debut for the final chapter, the Matrix franchise this year already is pushing the $1 billion mark.

"Anytime you have a billion dollars in box office, that's pretty impressive," producer Joel Silver said. "I don't know how you point a finger and say there's anything wrong there."

But interest clearly has waned in the franchise, which began in 1999 with the Wachowski brothers' The Matrix, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss. The movie's sleek black fashion sense and slow-motion visual effects have become one of the most copied looks in movie history.

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