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The sexiest man alive is no match for Christ

March 15, 2004 14:02 IST

Johnny Depp in Secret WindowDespite the decent opening Johnny Depp's Secret Window enjoyed over the weekend, it just could not displace Jim Caviezel's The Passion Of The Christ as the most popular film across North America.

In fact the distance between Secret Window and The Passion over the March 12-14 weekend was quite awesome. The Mel Gibson-directed religious epic grossed about $31.6 million in three days, while the suspenseful Secret Window psyched just about $19 million.

At the current rate of attrition, The Passion has excellent chance of overtaking The Return Of The King that is headed for a $380 million final gross in North America.  

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The Johnny Depp film which was directed by David Koepp, received mostly negative reviews, but it still looks as if it is headed for a medium range hit status ($65-$70 million in North America). It nevertheless gave Depp his third success in a row following the superhit Pirates Of The Caribbean ($340 million gross) and Once Upon A Time In Mexico ($65 million).

Based on a novella by Stephen King, Secret Window presents Depp as a writer deeply troubled by a nasty divorce. His troubles worsen when a psychotic stranger turns up, claiming his idea has been stolen by the famed writer and turned into a successful novel.

Most of the reviews from major publications were negative. Even Michael Wilmington of Chicago Tribune who called the movie 'a clever, tense thriller' admitted that it 'loses steam toward the end'.

Some reviewers grudgingly admitted that Depp saved the film. In New York Post, for instance, Megan Lehmann wrote that the film 'works well as a showcase for Depp's idiosyncrasies.' But many critics echoed William Arnold, who concluded in Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "Johnny Depp can't save a clumsy thriller with no thrills or surprises."

A still from HidalgoAt the third position on the chart was the light-hearted comedy cop drama Starsky & Hutch, which grossed a cheerful $16 million. It was followed by Hidalgo, the race-themed film which looks like it is destined for an also-ran hit status. Over two weekends, it has grossed a decent $35 million, while Starsky & Hutch grossed $51 million for the same period. Hidalgo could end its run in North America with about $60 million.

The newcomer Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London certainly did not win many new friends, and many fans who had embraced the first film in the saga and turned it into a medium-sized hit stayed away. The reviews were not very positive and the word of mouth must have been not too inspiring. The film grossed $8 million. The first Cody Banks had opened with $14 million last year. It will be surprising if there is a third Cody Banks.

In the new film, Frankie Muniz returns as Agent Cody Banks chasing a rogue CIA agent who has stolen a top secret mind control device. Cody has to go undercover in London posing as a student to retrieve the device. He also has to keep other kids from discovering his true identity while infiltrating the villain's den.

In Chicago Tribune, Allison Benedikt called the movie 'another misguided outbreak of sequel fever'. And in  
Cincinnati Enquirer, Margaret A McGurk thought it was 'equally fluffy', as the first film but 'not as much fun'.

In The New York Times, Dave Kehr noted: 'The subversive humour that occasionally brightened the first film... is absent from this sophomore effort'.

A still from TwistedAt sixth position was 50 First Dates, the Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore hit that has reached $106 million in five weeks, and could be around for another two or three weeks.

The seventh and eight places went to the box-office duds Twisted and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen respectively.

Among the Oscar winners, only The Return Of The King found room on the top 10 chart, with about $2 million grossed over the weekend.

The last on the chart was writer and director David Mammet's political thriller Spartan, that was intriguing in parts but left many viewers disappointed because it was too long drawn and had too many twists that ultimately harmed the film. Films like Spartan are not expected to be big hits but its $2 million gross from 832 theatres was certainly disappointing.

The box office this week:



Weekend gross


of weeks


The Passion Of The Christ

$31.6 million (less 40% from the previous weekend)




Secret Window

$19 million




Starsky And Hutch

$16 million (less 42% from the previous weekend)





$11.7million (less 38% from the previous weekend) 




Agent Cody Banks 2





50 First Dates

$5.3 million (less 30% from the previous weekend)  





$3 million (plus 40% from the previous weekend)




Confessions Of A Teenage Drama Queen

$2.4 million (less 40% from the previous weekend)




The Return Of The King

$2 million (less 32% from the previous weekend)





$2 million



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Arthur J Pais