Though well short of the opening gross for the live-action HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, Universal's THE CAT IN THE HAT still attracted enough tikes and their families to pull in a sizable $38.3M in its debut. The Imagine Entertainment production, with vfx by Rhythm & Hues, ruled the box office for the weekend ended Nov. 23, 2003. Warner Bros.' Halle Berry ghost flick, GOTHIKA (with vfx by CafeFX), debuted in second place with $19.2M, and New Line's surprising ELF (with vfx by Rhythm & Hues, Chiodo Bros. Prods. and Amalgamated Pixels) continued to roll with $18.7M, good enough for a third place finish with $94.7M. Fox's best picture Oscar contender, MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD, is just getting by, finishing fourth with $15.2M. Peter Weir's seafaring adventure with Russell Crowe, boasting vfx by Asylum and ILM, has earned $47.2M after two weekends. Universal's LOVE ACTUALLY (with vfx by Framestore) moved up to the fifth spot, but is not exactly lighting up the box office, scoring $8.6M and $30.4M to date. Warner Bros.' THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS (with vfx by ESC FX, Animal Logic, BuF Compagnie, Giant Killer Robots, Tippett Studio and Tweak Films) continues to disappoint, bringing in just $7M and dropping to sixth place for a cume of $125.3M. Disney's BROTHER BEAR managed $5.3M in its fifth week, dropping to seventh for a so-so bounty of $70.3M. At number eight, Warner Bros.' LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION drew only $4.2M in its second weekend for a disappointing cume of $14.8M. Dimension's SCARY MOVIE 3 came in ninth with $3.1M and a nice total of $106M. And Sony's heart-warming RADIO came in 10th with $2.6M for a modest cume of $47M. Box office information obtained from boxofficemojo.com.