Universals Ben Stiller/Jennifer Aniston comedy, ALONG CAME POLLY, blew away the competition, including THE RETURN OF THE KING, in its box office debut over the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, ended Jan. 19, 2004, collecting $32.4M. After four weeks atop the chart, New Lines RETURN OF THE KING (with vfx overwhelmingly by Weta Digital) finally fell to second place with $12.4M and a grand $329M to date. Sonys BIG FISH (with vfx from Sony Pictures Imageworks) came in third with $12.3M and a cume of $39.8M. Warner Bros. Foxs CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN (with vfx by 11:11 Mediaworks and Digital Filmworks) came in fourth with $11.8M on its way to a robust $115M. TORQUE (with vfx by Team Works Digital, Colorado FX, ComputerCafe, Pixel Magic and HATCH) debuted in fifth with $11.4M. Miramaxs Oscar hopeful COLD MOUNTAIN finished sixth with $7.9M and a respectable cume of $65.9M. Sonys SOMETHINGS GOTTA GIVE (with Scott Rader as vfx supervisor) picked up another $6.7M to finish in seventh place for a total of $101.6M. Miramaxs MY BABYS DADDY took the eighth spot with $4.4M and $13.1M so far. Disneys CALENDAR GIRLS slithered up to ninth place with $3.8M and $18M to date. And Warner Bros. THE LAST SAMURAI (with VFX from Flash Film Works, Rising Sun and Matte World) held the 10th spot with $3.7M, achieving a cume of $102.5M.
Despite all the favorable reviews, Disneys TEACHERS PET didnt quite crack the top 10 in its debut, managing only $3.6M on 2,027 screens for an 11th place finish. Box office information obtained from boxofficemojo.com.