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Cruise knocks out Shyamalan

By Arthur J Pais in New York
Last updated on: August 09, 2004 12:50 IST
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Tom Cruise in CollateralAudiences are deserting The Village. 

M Night Shyamalan's suspense yarn -- which was widely panned by critics -- fell from the top to the second position at the US box office this week.

Its earnings fell by about 67 percent.

Though the film grossed about $85 million in 10 days and is headed for a profitable run, it may be the least profitable of the Pondicherry-born Shyamalan's four hits.

His previous film Signs fell by about 50 percent in the second week and ended with $240 million.

But The Village, which received far more negative reviews than his other films and grumbling from the audiences that Shyamalan had taken them on a wild ride, could earn about $120 million in North America.

Part of the reason for the steep fall is the good $24 million opening for Collateral, the week's most popular film.

The crime drama, which has a sensational performance by Jamie Foxx and an arresting presence by Tom Cruise (above, left) in a villainish role, garnered some of the strongest reviews so far this year. But it was no match for the $50 million opening The Bourne Supremacy and The Village each enjoyed.

Though Cruise is a big star in America, his popularity abroad far outweighs his domestic status.

While his The Last Samurai grossed about $120 million in America, it earned over $300 million abroad and became one of the most profitable films last year.

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The Matt Damon starrer The Bourne Supremacy, the third highest grossing film of the week, is confidently headed for a $150 million gross.

But the much darker and more enigmatic The Manchurian Candidate does not have a wide mass base. It fell by about 48 percent in its second week to fourth place on the chart. It will have to fight hard to reach at least $73 million, the gross for its star Denzel Washington's previous success, Man On Fire.

The romantic drama with a dark edge, The Little Black Book, which was slammed by most major critics, opened at fifth spot with a modest $7 million. The $30 million film, in which Brittany Murphy plays a young woman who raids her boyfriend's Palm Pilot to satisfy her curiosity about his past romantic conquests, is certainly going to be a disappointment to its producers. But it is not a big loser like Catwoman and other recent big budget turkeys.

It was followed by the hit I, Robot, now heading towards $140 million.

The comedy Harold And Kumar Go To Whitecastle lost about 45 percent of its box-office clout, but the $9 million comedy is heading for a $20 million gross. Though its earning is far removed from the money most teen comedies make, the film could still become profitable if it has a healthy run aboard -- not to forget video and DVD sales.

This year has been notable for the number of small budget films (ranging from $9 million to $30 million) that have done solid business.

The Warner Bros comedy A Cinderella Story continues its magic at the box office with a $47 million harvest in just four weeks. The film could end its run with a healthy $60 million.

Two other smaller films, which are not on the top 10 list any more, are still drawing thousands of people. The Michael Moore docudrama Fahrenheit 9/11 is 11th with an amazing $113 million gross in seven weeks. The tearjerker The Notebook has made an impressive $72 million, also in seven weeks.

The box office this week:



Weekend gross


of weeks



$24.4 million




The Village

$16.5 million (less 67% from previous week)




The Bourne Supremacy

$14 million (less 40% from previous week)




The Manchurian Candidate

$10.8 million (less 48% from previous week)




Little Black Book

$7 million




I, Robot

$6.3 million (less 40% from previous week)




Spider-Man 2

$5.5 million (less 38% from previous week)




Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle

$3.2 million (less 45% from previous week)




A Cinderella Story

$3 million (less 33% from previous week)





$2.8 million (less 55% from previous week)



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Arthur J Pais in New York