As everyone predicted LORD OF THE RINGS, with primary digital effects by WETA in New Zealand, was easily number one at the U.S. box office this long, holiday weekend. Opening on Wednesday, December 19, the film pulled in over $18 million in the first 24 hours alone. As of Sunday, December 23, the film has a cume of $73.1 million and shows no sign of slowing down as other newcomers had weak openings. Ultra-slick OCEANS ELEVEN, with visual effects by E=mc2 and Cinesite, is holding strong with a second place finish of $14.6M and a cume of $95.2M. Nickelodeon's latest animated feature JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS had the strongest opening of the newcomers, placing third with $14M. With other child pleasers fading into the distance, and LOTR too scary for some kids, it looks like Nickelodeon and Paramount have a steady hit on their hands. VANILLA SKY, with visual effects by Digital Domain, tumbled to fourth with a $12.1M take for a total of $45.1M. HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERERS STONE, with visual effects by Sony Pictures Imageworks and Rhythm & Hues, was sixth with $6.2 million for a whopping total of $263.2M. THE MAJESTIC was a grand flop in its opening weekend. The Jim Carrey heart-string tugger placed eighth with a little over $5M. And finally, MONSTERS, INC. is hanging in there at tenth place, grossing $3.5M for a giant total of $224.2M. In case you saw the film in the early days of its release, remember that starting December 7, Pixar added outtakes to the closing credits.
It looks like Nickelodeon's gamble on JIMMY NEUTRON is paying off. Read about how Nick has carefully developed the JIMMY NEUTRON property in Rick DeMott's "The Rise of Jimmy Neutron" at http://mag.awn.com/index.php3?ltype=pageone&article_no=898