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Can Catch Me If You Can Catch Rings?

Heading into the last box office weekend of 2002, it looks like a match up between Frodo and a felonious forger. LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS, with visual effects by Weta Digital, topped the Christmas day box office, adding $12.4M for a total of $135.7M, just beating the debut of CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, the Steven Spielberg-directed tale of Frank Abagnale, Jr., a teenaged check forger who was the youngest man ever on the FBI's ten most wanted list. The film, which features Leonardo DiCaprio as Abagnale and Tom Hanks as his FBI pursuer, finished up Christmas day with $10M, which was good enough for second place. Martin Scorcese's GANGS OF NEW YORK, also starring DiCaprio and featuring visual effects by ILM, worked its way into fourth place, with a Christmas take of $3.1M for a six-day total of $15.6M. Nickelodeon's THE WILD THORNBERRYS MOVIE was not the big Christmas draw its distributors Paramount had hoped, earning a little over $720,000 for a six-day total of $9.3M. It was no Christmas present for Italy's Roberto Benigni, whose live-action adaptation of PINOCCHIO had a dismal Christmas day opening, earning just $315,000 on over 1,500 screens. The film, which features visual effects by Britain's Peerless Camera, Ltd., was the highest grossing picture in Italy's history, but the film doesn't seem to translate in the U.S., despite the re-dubbing of the dialog by English speaking actors. Box office information obtained from boxofficemojo.com.

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