Monday, July 19, 2004

Will Smith remains summer's sure bet

Box office

By David Germain
The Associated Press

Will Smith has the summer crowd well programmed.

Smith's sci-fi thriller I, Robot was his latest No. 1 July debut, opening with $52.25 million and bumping Spider-Man 2 from the top spot at the weekend box office, according to studio estimates Sunday.

If the numbers hold when final figures are released today, I, Robot would be Smith's best debut ever, just ahead of Independence Day, Men in Black and Men in Black II, all July premieres that opened in the $50 million to $52 million range.

"He's just so likable, he takes something like science fiction, which can be a little cold, and he makes it warm and entertaining," said Bruce Snyder of 20th Century Fox, I, Robot's distributor.

Spider-Man 2 lifted its total domestic haul to $301.7 million after just 19 days. The movie crossed the $300 million mark three days faster than the original Spider-Man, according to distributor Sony.

Here are the estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc:

1. I, Robot, $52.25 million.

2. Spider-Man 2, $24.2 million.

3. A Cinderella Story, $13.8 million

4. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, $13.4 million.

5. Fahrenheit 9/11, $7 million.

6. King Arthur, $6.9 million.

7. The Notebook, $5.45 million.

8. White Chicks, $3.4 million.

9. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, $3.2 million.

10. The Terminal, $3.1 million.

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