Fahrenheit 9/11 Ignites Record Opening

Michael Moore's incendiary FAHRENHEIT 9/11 ignited the box office with a record $23.9M for the weekend ended June 27, 2004, the highest opener for any doc and the first to ever hit No. 1. The Lions Gate release opened in 868 theaters for a five-day cume of more than $24M and a per-screen weekend average of $27,558.

As for the rest of the pack, Sony's WHITE CHICKS debuted in second place with $19.6M. Fox's comedy, DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY, slipped to third in its second week, scoring $18.7M for a total of $67.8M. New Line's romantic weepie, THE NOTEBOOK, opened in fourth with $13.4M. DreamWorks' THE TERMINAL dropped to fifth with $13.1M and a two-week cume of $41M. Warner Bros.' HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN (with vfx by ILM, Cinesite (Europe), Double Negative, Framestore CFC and The Moving Picture Co.) occupied the sixth spot with $11.2M and $211.5M so far. Head to head, AZKABAN trails CHAMBER OF SECRETS by $2M and SORCERER'S STONE by $30M. DreamWorks' SHREK 2 settled for seventh place, grabbing another $10.2M to its record-breaking pace of $396.7M. Meanwhile, the computer-animated giant added an additional $38.4M in overseas coffers, including nearly $11M in France. Its Thursday opening in France accounted for a record gross of $2.3M among animated features, though there was a dip on Friday (due, some suggest, to France being knocked out of the Euro 2004 soccer championships by Greece), which prevented it from toppling FINDING NEMO's bow. Fox's GARFIELD: THE MOVIE (with vfx by Rhythm & Hues) placed eighth with $7.5M and $56.2M. Universal's TWO BROTHERS (with vfx by Éclair) debuted in ninth with $6.1M. Paramount's THE STEPFORD WIVES (with vfx by Whodoo EFX) took the 10th spot with $5M and a cume of $48.8M. Box office information obtained from boxofficemojo.com.