With a one-two punch of his own, producer Jerry Bruckheimer ruled the weekend box office like no other producer before him, with BAD BOYS II debuting impressively at an estimated $46.7M and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL hauling in a hefty $33.2M in its sophomore turn. At least for the moment, the curse of the summer sequel has been given a respite. The Columbia action/adventure starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence attracted its core young male audience (with some VFX provided by Sony Imageworks). Disney's PIRATES only saw a minor 28% decline for the second spot, and has now collected a bounty worth $132.2M.
The other big news is that Disney/Pixar's FINDING NEMO, which finished sixth with $7.2M, has now crossed the coveted $300M threshold. At $303M, it will now only be a matter of a week or two before it surpasses THE LION KING's $312M for best animated feature honors.
THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN saw a steep decline at 56% in its second weekend and dropped to third place with $10.1M. The Fox film has brought in $42.4M to date. The Sean Connery-starrer about a legion of Victorian superheroes was assisted by a legion of VFX services supplied by Industrial Light & Magic, Steve Johnson's Edge FX Inc., Double Negative, Cinesite (Europe), New Deal Studios Inc., Tippett Studio, Computercafe Inc., Pixel Magic, VCE.Com/Peter Kuran, R!OT, Giant Killer Robots, Engine Room, Big Red Pixel, Mar Vista Ventures and Millennium FX Ltd.
Newcomer JOHNNY ENGLISH, the British secret agent spoof starring Rowan Atkinson, debuted at number four with $9.3M. The Universal film features VFX by Double Negative. TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES fell to fifth place, garnering $9.1M for Warner Bros. To date, TERMINATOR 3 has brought in $127.7M (bolstered by the combined VFX of Industrial Light & Magic, Anatomorphex, Pacific Data Images, Pacific Titles & Optical and Stan Winston Studio).
MGM's LEGALLY BLONDE 2: RED, WHITE AND BLUE slid to seventh place with $6.1M However, the Reese Witherspoon comedy (with VFX honors by Pixel Magic), has a nice cume so far of $75.4M. New Line's romancer HOW TO DEAL, with VFX by iO Film, debuted in the eighth spot with $5.8M. CHARLIE'S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE settled in ninth place with $3.7M. The Sony sequel has brought in $89.1M so far, with Sony Imageworks and The Orphanage supplying the bulk of the VFX. Fox Searchlight's surprise U.K. horror hit, 28 DAYS LATER (with VFX by Clear and The Moving Picture Co.), still hung around in the tenth spot with $2.5M and a very worthy total to date of $33.4M. Box office information obtained from boxofficemojo.com.