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Robot snaps Spider-Man's web

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July 19, 2004 17:55 IST

A still from 1, RobotFlying past the most optimistic forecasts, the sci-fi comedy I, Robot, starring Will Smith, psyched $52.2 million in just three days in America and Canada, pushing Spider-Man 2 firmly to second spot. But even then, Spider-Man 2 flew beyond the $300 million benchmark in just three weeks.

Even A Cinderella Story, which did not carry a strong buzz, had a solid opening with a $13.8 million three day gross in third place.

A retelling of the classic fairy tale, the film starred Hilary Duff as the young woman desperately in search of her prince so that she could get away from her wicked stepmother and stepsisters.

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Many critics were not thrilled by the film. Roger Ebert in Chicago Sun-Times called it 'a lame, stupid movie'. The rival Chicago Tribune's Allison Benedikt slammed the film and also criticised the low-budget romance for the lack of chemistry between its leads, Duff and Chad Michael Murray.

But audiences were apparently thinking on the lines of critic Ty Burr who, grudgingly, recommended the film. "To say the new Hilary Duff movie, A Cinderella Story, is deeply, proudly average shouldn't dissuade you from taking your daughters," Burr wrote in The Boston Globe. "I can't imagine anyone over 14 and not in full-on chaperone mode going to this high-school revamp of the classic fairy tale on their own, but the film, by pleasantly, predictably hitting the sweet spot for the 'tweener crowd, hits a different sweet spot for parents.

"Mean Girls it's not," Burr continued. "A plastic butter knife has more edge. But sometimes it's nice to know your kids won't cut their fingers."

It was followed by the hit comedy Anchorman that saw its airwaves dipping by about 55 per cent, but was still able to gross $56 million in two weeks.

A Cinderalla StoryThe riveting and controversial docudrama Fahrenheit 9/11, which has also lit up the box office in a number of foreign countries, especially in France and the United Kingdom, was in fifth place. Its international cumulative has surpassed $125 million, nearly $95 million of it coming from the US alone. Expect it to make history in North America next week by becoming the first documentary to earn $100 million.

But there was no hope for King Arthur, which fell by about 56 per cent and is fast joining some of the most disappointing films of the year like Hidalgo.

On the sunnier side, the low-budget comedies White Chicks and Dodgeball are still making millions laugh, with the latter's gross reaching $104 million.

The sturdiest film of the month, the sentimental drama The Notebook, dropped by just about 15 per cent, taking its gross to $53 million. Expect the low-budget tearjerker to end its North American run with a very profitable $70 million gross. Men who are afraid to weep in the theatres might purchase the video and DVD copies of the film three months later, making it an even bigger hit off the theatres.

The box office this week:



Weekend gross


of weeks


1, Robot

$52.2 million




Spider-Man 2

$24 million (less 45% from the previous weekend)




A Cinderalla Story

$13.8 million





$13.4 million (less 55% from the previous weekend)




Fahrenheit 9/11

$7 million (less 36% from the previous weekend) 




King Arthur

$6.9 million (less 55% from the previous weekend)




The Notebook

$5.4 million (less 15% from the previous weekend)




White Chicks

$3.4 million (less 45% from the previous weekend)





$3.2 million (less 42% from the previous weekend)




The Terminal

$3 (less 38% from the previous weekend)



Click here for More Box-Office Reports

Arthur J Pais